LOGAN — A holiday tradition will continue when the Lyric Repertory Company and USU’s Department of Theatre Arts bring A Christmas Carol to the Ellen Eccles Theatre Dec. 12-16. The Caine Lyric Theatre, the venue that usually hosts the show, was deemed structurally unsound to operate out of during the 2022 winter season.
“When we found out we were unable to use the Caine Lyric Theatre this year, we were heartbroken and terrified that we wouldn’t be able to do the show,” said Richie Call, artistic director of the Lyric Rep and director of A Christmas Carol. “The holidays are a difficult time to schedule things, but the Ellen Eccles Theatre luckily had a narrow window of time we were able to get in, and we made it happen.”
It works out well for the Lyric Rep since Sid Perkes, who adapted this version of the Charles Dickens classic, wrote it specifically for the Ellen Eccles Theatre. The first time Call ever saw the Lyric Rep production was when his grandpa, Lyric Rep founder Vosco Call, played Scrooge on the Ellen Eccles stage.
Call said he is hoping Lyric Rep’s holiday offeringswill become a favorite holiday tradition for families around the valley.
“The venue change makes the show quite a bit different from last year,” Call said. “We have to use the set in a different way, and only two of the cast members are returning.”
Call says that the show is so focused on Scrooge that having a new cast member for that role alone makes a huge difference in the production. This year’s Scrooge is played by Paul Mitri, head of the Department of Theatre Arts in the Caine College of the Arts.
“We were contemplating actors for the role, and I brought it up to Paul,” Call said. “Anyone is trepidatious to take on a role of that size, but we auditioned him and he seemed perfect.”
Another benefit Call noted about the show returning for this holiday season is that the company was able to see what worked well last year and keep it, while also improving on some aspects.
A Christmas Carol marks the first combined production between Utah State Theatre and the Lyric Rep, providing a professional theater environment to give advanced undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to work with members of the professional theater industry.
Call said because we all tend to get focused on the commercialism of the season, the show is a great reminder to “be good, do better and be kinder.”
“I don’t know of a better story to get you in the spirit of Christmas,” Call said. “A Christmas Carol appeals to everyone. Watching somebody like Scrooge and seeing his redemption story is something we can all relate to.”
A Christmas Carol runs Dec. 12-16 with shows beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $28-38 and $10 for children 5-17. For more information or tickets, contact the Cache Valley Center for the Arts at 435-752-0026 or visit cachearts.org.
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