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Scrooge to visit Northland in dinner theater production

See the classic Christmas play, "A Christmas Carol," and have a fabulous meal at the same time. That's what the Lake Superior Shakespeare Festival (LSSF) has planned for Northland theatergoers this year when the Christmas Carol Dinner Theatre ope...

See the classic Christmas play, "A Christmas Carol," and have a fabulous meal at the same time.
That's what the Lake Superior Shakespeare Festival (LSSF) has planned for Northland theatergoers this year when the Christmas Carol Dinner Theatre opens in the Great Lakes Ballroom on Friday, Dec. 15.
The dinner theater production of one of the favorite plays of the season will run for two weekends, Dec. 15-16 and Dec. 22-23, and will feature not only the Charles Dickens' classic, but live Celtic music and food to match.
"You'll have a complete Victorian feast along with the play," said Steve Grazier, one of the founders of the Lake Superior Shakespeare Festival.
The five-course meal prepared by the chef at Porter's includes a roasted butter nut squash bisque, a salad of mixed greens with pears, apples and walnuts dressed with a roasted apple vinaigrette, crown roast pork with onion/sage stuffing, maple-glazed sweet potatoes and pecan streusel. The dessert is even more traditional -- plum pudding with hard sauce and warm apples.
It should be a wonderful experience, Grazier said. "The play proceeds along with the meal. After the first course, you watch the first act ... you kind of eat your way through the play."
The play itself will be performed in the round in the middle of the Great Lakes Ballroom at the Holiday Inn, bringing a new immediacy to the beloved Christmas story.
Jim Cunningham, founding director of the Pandemonium Theatrical Company and artistic director of the LSSF, plays Bob Cratchit. His son, Jake, plays 5-year-old Tiny Tim.
Ebenezer Scrooge will be played by Jay Nickerson, who is back in Minnesota after seven years in Off-Broadway productions in New York.
"There's a lot of talented people in the company," Grazier said. "There are Guthrie (Theater) actors and a Guthrie director."
The Actors Theatre of Minnesota, which tours throughout the state, is not new to performing in the Northland.
"We worked with them during the Shakespeare Festival last summer," Grazier said. "They did 'The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Abridged' at the Shakespeare Festival. Next year, they're going to be partners with us in the Shakespeare Festival ... they're going be artistic directors and the producing agents."
The Shakespeare Festival, which is held on stage at Leif Erikson Park, will present Shakespeare's "The Tempest" and possibly "Twelfth Night" next year, he said. "These are the two leading contenders so far."
The Christmas Carol Dinner Theatre could well become a holiday tradition in the Northland, Grazier said. "The idea is to do this every year and, hopefully, grow," he said.
Tickets are $49.50 for individuals, $99 for couples, and can be purchased at J.W. Beecroft in Superior and at all TicketMaster outlets. Call 727-2121 or check the Web site at http://www.ticketmaster.com .
For more information about the dinner theater and the Lake Superior Shakespeare Festival, call
590-5773.
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Joan Farnam is the Budgeteer arts and entertainment editor. To reach her, call 723-1207 or send e-mail to joan.farnam@duluth.com .

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