LINCOLNTON – The Three Little Pigs, Prince Charming, the Ugly Duckling and many other well-known fairy tale characters come together with Ebenezer Scrooge in the Lincoln Theatre Guild production of “A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol.” The play, which opens Friday, Nov. 30, at the Lincoln Cultural Center is directed by Matthew Burton and is based on the Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol,” told through the lens of classic fairy tales.
This is the first play that Burton has directed for the Lincoln Theatre Guild. Usually he’s onstage acting in productions.
“I wanted to do this show because it was close to home,” Burton said. “My mother was a kindergarten teacher, and at an early age she instilled a love of fairy tales and that you never stop believing in magic.”
This is a whimsical, quirky, slapstick funny play, Burton added, that is the timeless classic “A Christmas Carol” told in a way that no one’s ever heard before. Intermingled with the “A Christmas Carol” characters are the Three Little Pigs, the Three Blind Mice, Prince Charming, Cinderella and many others.
“It’s a high-energy show with a large cast of more than 40 members,” Burton said. “We could have double cast, but I love giving people opportunity. Even if they’re only onstage for a minute, they got to be onstage. It’s all about giving people opportunities. I think that’s what this show talks about.”
Playing Ebenezer Scrooge in the guise of the Big Bad Wolf is Larry Turner, who is no stranger to the LTG stage.
“It’s a great play, and I’m the oldest cast member,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to really get out there and play with this character and all the changes he goes through. This is really a delightful play.”
Brand new to the stage and playing narrator Mother Goose is Robin Kiser. She was talked into trying out for the part by her son, Joseph, who has been cast in previous LTG productions.
“He told me, ‘Mom, it’ll be fun, we’ll get to act silly,’” she said. “The biggest challenge has been remembering the lines, but it’s so exciting.”
The ever-changing set was designed by H. Michael Wirth with the assistance of Dean Wise. Scrooge’s bed on the set is covered with a quilt that formerly belonged to Burton’s mother.
As the characters evolve throughout the story, the mood of the set changes with them.
“This is a wonderful story,” he said. “You have all of these great characters and their costumes, so we wanted to create something that was very whimsical, fantastical and a little Tim Burton-esque if you will. I think we’ve done a really great job of that.”