“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens at ACT Theatre

This is one of those oldies but goodies. No matter how many times you see it, it still warms the heart. For many of us it’s one of the Seattle Christmas traditions that can’t be missed.

This year’s version, directed again by Allison Narver, plays as one act for 90 minutes. David Pichette and Jeff Steitzer who alternate in the role of Scrooge are seasoned actors who can be very mean indeed. That is until the three Christmas spirits reveal the error of Scrooge’s ways to them and prove that redemption is possible. And oh how scary is Burton Curtis as the Ghost of Jacob Marley.

Sweet Christmas carols, charming children, and lively traditional English dances offer a counterpoint to the rattling chains and eerie, ghoulish ghosts of Marley and Christmas future. Mr. Dickens would be very pleased with this production.

“Bah humbug,” says Scrooge at the very thought of charity, of providing for the poor. “Are there no prisons . . . no work houses? . . . let (the poor) die and decrease the surplus population.” What a timely reminder that greed and selfishness are not admirable characteristics. Where are the Christmas ghosts when we need them?

Through Dec. 24 at ACT Theatre 700 Union St., Seattle. (206 292-7676 or www.acttheatre.org)

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