As a play written in 1991 by Daniel J. Sullivan, Inspecting Carol’s theme as it relates to the theater business and the struggle to gain production funds through arts grants makes it still timeless. With threats to arts endowments today, it is also quite timely.
As a comedy, much depends on an understanding of theatrical production and its processes, how crucial arts funding is to such productions, and navigating the often-delicate territory of working with artists in general.
The play centers around a theater company struggling to do its version of Charles Dickens’ oft-dark Victorian classic A Christmas Carol. A pending arts endowment grant and the timely arrival of a stranger to the play’s rehearsal spins gossip fueled by hope and desperation. Over-zealous actor types do their part to lend “improvements” and the resulting metamorphosis brings surprising results.
The cast features Francesca Manzi, Jessica J’aime, Mitchell Turner, Juan Lozano, Chris Lanehart, Amber Bracken, Danny Fetter, Taylor Baker, Skip Pipo and Kevin Herrmann, with returning notable Maddys Musicals regulars Kim Dalton, Alli Miller, Nicholas Rubando and Kate Bowman. Special kudos to Fetter, whose character Walter shows balanced equal tolerance and contempt with both an ever-evolving script and the veiled and overt racial inequalities he’s subjected to—issues that still plague the arts and society today.
The good and bad news: tonight is the last show at the Three Clubs for this production.
The really good news: R & R Inc regularly puts on other quality productions at this speakeasy-like intimate cabaret theater, including under Maddys Musicals produced by David Ruben and Nick Rubando. No matter what evening or show you choose, you are destined to have a good time with this troupe of players.
Get your drink on and lubricate your funny bone, grab a snack outside, and relax for the party they bring at the Three Clubs.
Tickets can be purchased at inspectingchristmas.bpt.me or at the door at Three Clubs 1123 Vine St just prior to the show. Happy Hour is from 4 – 7, so come early. Show door is at 7 pm.