CENTERVILLE - No matter how many versions of “A Christmas Carol” you’ve seen, you need to add this one to the list.
“The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild’s Dramatic Society’s Production of ‘A Christmas Carol,’” playing now through Dec. 23 at CenterPoint’s Lieshman Performance Hall, is the most hilarious show I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. A delightfully immersive treat, “Farndale” will leave people of all ages laughing.
The show follows a very small, very amateur dramatic society as they attempt to put on a production of “A Christmas Carol.” To say any more than that would spoil some of the surprise, cruelly depriving those who haven’t yet seen the show. It’s best to just relax and go with the moment, though feel free to say yes to the offer of a blanket if you’re feeling a bit chilly.
It’s likely, however, that you’ll be enjoying yourself too much to notice the cold. The small cast is fantastic, taking every moment of the play absolutely seriously while highlighting the sublime ridiculousness of what they’re doing. Shannon Wilson’s slightly concussed, always-a-beat-late performance made every scene funnier, Brian Hahn was a delightfully petulant spanner in the works, and Katie Paul’s “Save me or kill me now” expression was hilarious even without the benefit of dialogue. As the only Farndale lady who seems to have any idea what she’s doing, Melanie Kieffer’s performance kept the play together.
Crowning it all was Carol Thomas’s performance as the scene-stealing, constantly chiding, oh-so-reasonable chairwoman of the society. She had me doubled over laughing even when she was standing alone on an almost empty stage, and her Tiny Tim was a thing of beauty. The not-so-little guy had me in tears, but not for the usual reasons.
The show only runs Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, which means that there are only so many chances to get your seats for this wonderful night at the theater. You don’t want to miss it.
For tickets, call 801-298-1302 or visit centerpointtheatre.org.