It’s that time of year again, and I hope you take time to come with your family to Portland Stage’s production of A Christmas Carol. I’ve been keeping a camp upstage left, shrouded by tall black curtains and surrounded by music making gear. My vantage point isn’t nearly as delightful as yours will be when you come see the show: dozens of merry child actors adorn the stage as Ron Botting’s Scrooge goes through his transformative journey and lands on the other side of cruelty and selfishness on the side of giving and kindness.
As I watch the story and add my music to it day after day, I continue to muse on how relevant this tale is to all of us in the modern age. How easy it is to be so caught up in our work, in our striving, that we forget to truly enjoy our friends, family and to support the many worthy causes in our lives. In fact, just as I set about to write this entry now, my daughter Anica was playing here in the studio. She is in the ensemble cast of A Christmas Carol for the first time, and she was humming songs from the show, adding her own words. She then prattled on about how “giving IS receiving: you give something and you receive love…” I had a momentary impulse to ask her to be quiet so that I could focus on squeezing in a little work before the end of the day. But there she was, delighting in meaningful echoes from the show. How could I miss that chance to give her my attention and not shut out the lessons from one of our culture’s most enduring tales?
If you make it to the show, please take a minute and say hello! Merry Christmas!
Rehearsals begin in November for Portland Stage’s production of “The Snow Queen”. It’s a “Hans” Troika, as Hans Indigo Spencer plays and composes music for this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale. To complete the triple, the music of Andersen’s Danish contemporary Hans Christian Lumbye will set the scene in 19th century northern Europe. More info here.