Nights are growing colder, lights are twinkling around the city, and traffic is building up everywhere. Our favorite—and longest-running—holiday is here.
When I think of Christmas, I think simbanggabi, noche buena, and bibingka, hamon, and ensaymada with family and friends. We’ve got plenty of traditions for this merriest of seasons, but who says we can’t use more?
Enter Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical.
Last year, they debuted A Christmas Carol, inspired by New York City’s yearly staging of the same musical at Madison Square Garden. They’re bringing it back this December, and it’s gearing up to be bigger and better than before. At the press conference, director Robbie Guevara of 9 Works explained that this was always part of their plan, saying, “We will be mounting a Christmas show every year to make it a tradition, to help make Christmas more fun. It’s not a bah-humbug thing to come and watch a show during Christmas [and during Christmas Day].”
Whether you caught its run last year or have yet to watch this musical, here are six reasons to include A Christmas Carol in your holiday festivities:
1. We could all use some cheer
It’s been a tough year, with troubling news popping up left and right. But despite how bleak things get, there’s always something to be thankful for. What better way to be reminded of that than by Charles Dickens’ classic tale? A Christmas Carol tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a bitter wealthy old man haunted by the ghosts of his past, present, and future. Each encounter awakens the goodness in him and shows him what Christmas really means.
It may have been written back in 1843, but doesn’t it still sound relevant today?
2. The music was created by Alan Menken
There’s nothing like great music to strike up a festive mood. And if there’s a composer who’s mastered magical music-making, it’s the award-winning Alan Menken. Think Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Tangled, and the recently mounted Newsies. For A Christmas Carol, Menken paired up with lyricist Lynn Arhens to create music that evokes the spirit of Christmas.
Check out this preview of “A Place Called Home,” Young Ebenezer’s duet with his fiancée Emily—the video’s quite blurry, but you can hear the music just fine!
3. It’s not just a rerun of last year’s show
Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical may have brought back the same source material for this year’s Christmas show, but it’s far from a rerun. Globe Live executive producer Joe Caliro said, “It’s the same musical, but a different show.” They’ve tapped a different set designer—Ed Lacson Jr, who also did the set for Newsies—and with that, had to think of new ways of staging the show.
Coming from their successful production of Newsies last July, they’re challenging themselves to raise the bar once more, especially when it comes to choreography. Director Robbie Guevara said, “People always ask me, ‘What’s your best show?’ I’ll always say, ‘My next one.’”
I truly enjoyed Newsies, so I’m expecting one heck of a show come December.
4. It brings together theater veterans and promising new talents
Here’s one more thing that’s different—the cast! While you’ll see some very familiar faces, you’ll meet new ones too. Miguel Faustmann heads the returning cast as Ebenezer Scrooge. Joining him are stage veterans Franco Laurel as the Ghost of Christmas Past and Noel Rayos as Jacob Marley and Mr. Fezziwig. Nico Dans plays the Ghost of Christmas Present and Rissey Santos, the Ghost of Christmas Future. Bringing their unique energy to the stage are young performers Elai Estrella and Jaime Yupangco, who alternately play Tiny Tim.
You may also recognize some names from the rest of the cast: Jon Abella as Bob Cratchit, Tricia Canilao as Mrs. Cratchit, Dawn Eduave as Mrs. Fezziwig, Laurence Mossman as Young Ebenezer, Arman Ferrer as Fred, Mitzie Lao as Emily, Gian Gloria as Sally, Krystal Brimner and Rayne Cortez as Grace Smythe, Tory Cortez as Jonathon, Omar Uddin and Diego Soler as Scrooge at 12, Simone Martinez and Cerise Ramirez as Fan, Joe Ng and Bourne Luna as Fred’s son, Kyle Francisco as Martha Cratchit, MC dela Cruz as Mr. Smythe, JP Basco as Young Marley, Josh Ramirez as John William Scrooge, Kendrick Ibasco as Beadle, Vyen Villanueva as Mr. Hawkins, Jourdan Bartolome as Old Joe, Mariella Laurel as Scrooge’s mother, Peachy Atilano-Guevara as Mrs. Mops, Shalee Vicencio as Mrs. Hawkins, and Joni Galeste.
5. It gives us a way to share some love this Christmas
Joe Caliro, Globe Head for Creative Marketing and Multi-Media Services, said, “We chose to stage A Christmas Carol again because it resonates with the colorful holiday celebrations here in the Philippines. It also teaches us the valuable lesson of giving, which is what the season is all about.”
In line with that, A Christmas Carol will feature the “Wall of Miracles” display. We can decorate this with ornaments sold at the venue. The proceeds will be combined with a donation of Globe Live to the HERO (Help, Educate, and Rear Orphans) Foundation. So not only will those ornaments add more Christmas flair, they’ll also help keep military orphans in school!
6. It runs on Christmas Day
That’s right—on December 25! After you’ve finished eating noche buena, opening gifts, and catching up on sleep, head on with your family and friends to the Globe Iconic Bonifacio High Street Amphitheater and round up your celebration with A Christmas Carol. Last year’s Christmas Show had an audience of around 3,000 people, with some arriving as early as 3 PM to set up their blankets on the grass.
If you’d rather avoid the crowd, you’ve got plenty of show dates to choose from. The show will run on December 7-9, 14-16, 21-22, and 26-27 at 8 PM, and on December 10, 17, and 25 at 7 PM. For tickets, contact Ticketworld at 891-9999.
Scroll down for some photos from the press conference. See you guys at the theater!
A Christmas Carol is a production of Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical, with MUD (Make up Designory) as the official makeup partner. Special thanks to Bonifacio High Street.
A Christmas Carol is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).