Allen Fitzpatrick.

Allen Fitzpatrick.

One-man ‘Christmas Carol’ a fresh version for Key City Public Theatre

Focus of play is children in want

PORT TOWNSEND — Fifty-six minutes, 26 characters, one storyteller: Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” will be given a special treatment this week.

Allen Fitzpatrick, the Seattle actor who has directed a number of Key City Public Theatre productions, is returning to Port Townsend to perform his freshly created version of Scrooge’s tale.

With musicians alongside, he’ll step onto Fort Worden’s Wheeler Theater stage today and Thursday; he and KCPT will also provide an online viewing option.

Yes, “A Christmas Carol” has been produced in just about every conceivable way, Fitzpatrick acknowledges. There’s a punk rock version. There was a huge show at Madison Square Garden.

Yet, for him, the singular route is a powerful one.

This month, Fitzpatrick debuted his “Carol” at a venue in Leavenworth and performed it at Seattle’s new Aspire Repertory Theatre, where actor friends remarked on how moved they were.

This one-man “Christmas Carol” will begin at 7 p.m. today and at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Wheeler Theater, 200 Battery Way at Fort Worden, with tickets at $40.

Local musicians Bertram Levy and Bobbi Nikles will accompany Fitzpatrick as he portrays “the narrator to Scrooge to Marley and everybody else,” as he puts it.

While Fitzpatrick wears one simple costume, the show has more than two dozen sound cues in it, all to spark the viewer’s imagination.

For theater lovers who prefer to watch at home or who live far away, the play will be available for streaming today through Saturday for $20 per household, while reservations for the in-person and virtual options are all available at www.keycitypublictheatre.org.

This 178-year-old tale is exquisitely on point, Fitzpatrick believes.

“The focus of the play is on children in want,” and families facing a Christmas without comfort.

Dickens, appalled by the amount of homelessness and hunger in his home city of London, wrote his novella to get the wealthy people’s attention.

“There were starving families on the street, by the tens of thousands; 300,000 were not getting enough to eat, and that was London alone,” Fitzpatrick said.

“He was going to produce a government-sponsored report. Instead, he thought, ‘What could I write that would have more impact?’ His purpose was to shine a glaring light on the hideous situation,” and inspire the affluent ones to open their hearts and share.

“There are some references in this play that are so strikingly 2021,” the actor added.

Denise Winter, Key City Public Theatre’s artistic director, has spent the past year on a major renovation of the playhouse in downtown Port Townsend. New seats, a larger lobby, a new ventilation system, modernized restrooms and a reconfigured box office are all part of the project, which is not quite finished, hence the use of the Wheeler Theater.

For her part, Winter is delighted to be presenting a show with a performer she admires.

“Allen Fitzpatrick is a treasured guest artist with KCPT,” she said.

His “Christmas Carol,” she added, is a “magnificent tour de force — a long-awaited gift of live theater that will transport us all.”

________

Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]

More in Entertainment

KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS
Port Angeles Parks and Recreation Department workers Kimberly Noble, left, and Destiny Walters add autumn plants to a decorative basin at the Conrad Dyar Memorial Fountain on Friday in downtown Port Angeles. Plants at the fountain and at other locations in the downtown area are periodically replaced with vegetation appropriate to the season.
Fall flowers at Conrad Dyar Memorial Fountain

Port Angeles Parks and Recreation Department workers Kimberly Noble, left, and Destiny… Continue reading

AVA by Marilynn Evans is part of the Bow Wow! exhibit.
Blue Whole Gallery exhibit helps WAG

This October Blue Whole Gallery artists offer a special exhibit… Continue reading

Sun Rays by Dan Brewer is among the works to be presented at Solstice
Solstice art exhibit to open at Sequim Civic Center

SEQUIM— Images of contrast between long summer days and long winter nights… Continue reading

Studium Generale to open quarter with traditional welcome

Studium Generale will open its fall quarter series Thursday… Continue reading

October Showcase sets artists’ reception

Olympic Peninsula Art Association will host an artists’ reception for… Continue reading

Despite the rain and cooler temperatures teams were in high spirits as they tackled the water course on day at an earlier Kinetic Skulpture Race in Port Townsend. (Peninsula Daily News)
It’s “offishul”: Port Townsend’s Kinetic Skulpture Race is on

Bribes are accepted, teddy bears must be prominently displayed… Continue reading

Girls Night Out is set for Thursday.
Girls’ Night Out celebrates the ’60s

Thursday is set for late shopping, party

From left are  Beth Witters, MarySue French and Susan Kroll at a spinning circle.
Pacific Northwest Fiber Exposition set this weekend

The inaugural Pacific Northwest Fiber Exposition will be this… Continue reading

Kinetic skulptures, Fall Spectacular, Family Pops among weekend events

Topping off this weekend’s activities on the North Olympic Peninsula is the… Continue reading

Most Read