A BROADWAY CHRISTMAS CAROL is a delightful and unexpected mix of show tune song parodies and Charles Dickens’ classic tale.
It is laugh-out-loud, roll-in-the-aisles funny, but it also hews close to the Dickens narrative. Creator Kathy Saylor only gets serious when talking about Dickens. “We’re very reverent towards Charles Dickens,” she once noted.
Reverent, however, does not mean dull.
In this production, The Ghost of Christmas Present is costumed as, well, a giant Christmas present, Tiny Tim appears in a show-stopping turn donning what we call an “Annie fright wig,” and Scrooge’s third phantom is, of course, a send up of the Broadway stage’s most famous Phantom.
In A BROADWAY CHRISTMAS CAROL, the witty song parodies, the split-second costume changes — Dickens wrote a lot of characters and we have three actors and a piano player, mind you — and the old miser singing to bring down the chanticleer provide the breath-taking fun at a breakneck pace, but the story is all Dickens.
The first time you produce it, it will leave your audiences feeling that they have seen something completely new and different but somehow oddly familiar and heart-warming. Best of all, they want to see it again and again. Suddenly, you have a Christmas classic and a sure-fire ticket sales generator on your hands.
It’s certainly happened that way at Round House Theatre in suburban Washington, D.C.’s Montgomery County. That’s where A BROADWAY CHRISTMAS CAROL played for seven consecutive seasons and more than 100 performances.
At Round House, audience testing proved that not only were people coming back year after year, but that they were also bringing friends and family members so that they could experience the good time together.
That makes a lot of sense. After all, elbowing your partner and groaning over the silly jokes and bad puns is all part of the experience of seeing this exceptional show.
Creator Kathy Saylor created a theatrical phenomenon in the Washington, DC theatre market with A BROADWAY CHRISTMAS CAROL. Already a well-known member of the community, Kathy has been approached in the theatre lobby, on the street and in the grocery store by fans wanting to know if she is indeed “the funny Christmas Carol lady.” More often than not, they have a song parody to pitch. And they all want to make sure that Kathy knows that they’ll be back next season.
A BROADWAY CHRISTMAS CAROL tested other waters with a Buffalo, NY production that ran for three holiday seasons. Theatres throughout the country followed suit, including multiple productions in the Atlanta metro area, another seven-year run in a different DC-area theatre, multi-year bookings in Phoenix, Charlotte, and many others. A BROADWAY CHRISTMAS CAROL has played to packed houses across the country and as far away as Singapore.
With this response comes Chanticleer Productions, LLP, formed by creator Kathy Saylor and Mark Robert Blackmon, the promoter who developed the marketing strategies for the show’s legendary Washington success.
Everyone needs a good laugh at the holidays. What better way to provide that than giving your audience our offering of “a little song, a little dance, a little egg nog down your pants?”