Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays brings his acclaimed one-man version of A Christmas Carol to Broadway for the 2022 holiday season. Get A Christmas Carol tickets on New York Theatre Guide.
A Christmas Carol is right alongside The Nutcracker as one of the most popular classic Christmas stories of all time, inspiring countless stage productions around the world every year. The tale of redemption and holiday goodwill follows the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge as he undergoes a change of heart to become compassionate. On Christmas Eve, ghosts of the past, present, and future visit him, issuing an urgent call for Scrooge to learn to love before it's too late.
In this version of A Christmas Carol on Broadway, Mays takes on every character in Charles Dickens's story, from Scrooge to the ghosts to Tiny Tim to, as one New York Times review noted, "an indignant potato." Mays premiered his version in 2018 at Los Angeles's Geffen Playhouse, and remounted it in 2020 in New York. That time around, he performed A Christmas Carol for an empty United Palace theatre in Washington Heights; the show was filmed and streamed.
Mays, his wife Susan Lyons, and director Michael Arden co-adapted the show from Dickens's novella. They were inspired by the way the author used to perform his own material. In the 1800s, Dickens went on "reading tours" with A Christmas Carol, where audiences would pay to see him simply read his story aloud. Like an actor, he reportedly employed different voices, facial expressions, and gestures to differentiate each of the characters as he was reading. In the 21st century, Mays does the same, but also has modern projections and animations to help set the scene.
Mays is a proven master of role-juggling: He won a Tony Award for playing all the characters in 2003's I Am My Own Wife, and he got a nomination for playing all eight D'Ysquiths and more in the 2014 Best Musical winner A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. His other Broadway credits include Pygmalion, Oslo, and the latest revival of The Music Man with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster.
There have been many recent productions of A Christmas Carol in New York alone. A different one-man interpretation called One Christmas Carol and a Sherlock Holmes/Christmas Carol mashup called A Sherlock Carol both went up off Broadway in 2021; the latter is returning in 2022. A Christmas Carol was last on Broadway in 2019; that version was adapted by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playwright Jack Thorne. The show won all five 2020 Tony Awards it was nominated for, including Best Original Score.
Tickets to A Christmas Carol in New York ar on sale now.
Photo credit: A Christmas Carol Live