Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol

Set in 1930’s small-town East Tennessee, Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol is a musical romp through the classic A Christmas Carol set to Dolly Parton’s music, fitting as Parton grew up in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, nestled against the Great Smoky Mountains.

The two-act tale is a heartwarming holiday journey of that well-loved story, reimagined with Ebenezer Scrooge as the owner of a mining company.

Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol

The production has been been adapted by the talented trio of David H. Bell, Paul T. Couch and Curt Wollan for this year’s Arts Club’s seasonal offering.

As Christmas Eve brings a snowstorm on the sleepy town, the miserly Scrooge eats his bowl of cold oatmeal following a day at work. His caretaker’s added some raisins to his “supper”, but he’s so stingy with his money that he barks at her for including such a frivolous (costly) addition to his supper.

Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol

“You haven’t earned the right to be happy; you’re poor” is a one-liner that really gets to the heart of the matter: Scrooge’s (masterfully performed by David M. Adams) greed has made him into a monster, one that the town has grown to hate due to his heartless behaviour.

When he’s visited by his deceased business partner (along with three ghosts) that night, he’s finally forced to see the error of his ways.

Andrew Wheeler, David M. Adams
[Andrew Wheeler, David M. Adams]

Carmen Alatorre’s functional period costumes bring Shizuka Kai’s stark, wooded sets to life. A formidable touch is a wagon wheel mounted high on stage that’s brought to life as a ticking clock during Time’s A-Passing.

The six-piece band on stage are thoughtfully placed right behind the action by Musical Director/Pianist Ken Cormier.

Watch for the beginning of the second act as the band corrals the audience back into the spirit with their entertaining song and dance. In fact, the production’s strength lies in the expert choreography courtesy of Julio Fuentes.

Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol

During the numbers, the audience can see how this wonderful cast is brought together via the spirit of dance and music. In spite of the heavy Appalachian snowfall on Christmas Eve, the townsfolk can still find reason to fill their hearts with laughter and joy, as themes of struggle and unity come shining through.

David M. Adams, Chelsea Rose
[David M. Adams, Chelsea Rose]

Georgia Acken is adorable as Tiny Tim and performs admirably amongst her grown-up cast with her angelic voice and mature views on life. Chelsea Rose (playing the role of “Woman #2”) is a standout for her gorgeous vocal talent.

You’ll leave with a big dose of holiday spirit after watching Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol. We’re counting on it, as the cast received a rousing standing ovation on opening night.

Madeleine Suddaby, David M. Adams, Synthia Yusuf, Jonathan Winsby
[Madeleine Suddaby, David M. Adams, Synthia Yusuf, Jonathan Winsby]

Directed by Bobby Garcia, Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol continues at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage through January 2, 2022.

Running time is about two and a half hours including intermission, but if you’ve hired a babysitter, keep in mind that the show will likely start about a half hour later due to the vax passport line-up (remember to bring an umbrella if it’s raining).

Visit the Arts Club online to reserve your seats!

Photos by Moonrider Productions.

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