For My Future Spawn: A Christmas Carol

“Humbug!”
– Charles Dickens

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit of a purist.  If you’re going to take something as good as Shakespeare or Austen or Saturday morning cartoons, don’t mess ’em up!  Tweak it, adapt it, reinterpret it to your heart’s content, but don’t make something good into something unwatchable or unreadable, or just plain bad.  This worldview is doubly stringent around Christmas time when, let’s face it, the world conspires to turn charming tradition into commercialism with fanatical efficiency.

Thus, I have very decided ideas about Christmas entertainment!

You may remember my affinity for puppets at yuletide?  Well, I indulged myself further buy snagging The Muppet Christmas Carol on Amazon.com this year.

Honestly, next to the version with Patrick Stewart, this may be my favorite version of the holiday tale.  Lots of humor with the storyline well preserved, what’s not to like?  (Well, I may get in trouble for this, but I never liked the random song Scrooge’s fiancee uses to break up with him, but other than that, thumbs up).

And speaking of, A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart is fan-bloody-tastic!  Jacob Marley’s haunting is nice and spooky, Patrick Stewart is appropriately grouchy and reformed (there is a hilarious moment when he wakes up, realizes he’s not dead, and tries to laugh – something he hasn’t done in decades and has forgotten how to do).

There are lots of versions, but these are the two that make me the happiest.  I watch them repeatedly during Advent, usually with a cup of hot chocolate with a candy cane to stir it with.

10 thoughts on “For My Future Spawn: A Christmas Carol”

  1. Not such a big fan of Muppets – may you please have mercy on my soul for such perceived heresy.

    However like you, I LOVE the 1999 Patrick Stewart version… along with the 1951 Christmas Carol with Alistar Sim (in the traditional black & white – not the so-called “improved” colorized release).

    Thank you for always making me laugh with your many, and well worded, adventures of life!!

  2. I secretly love the Muppets. Well, it’s not so secret anymore. But, I haven’t seen any other versions. Thanks for the recommendation.
    Also, I am a purist, as well. There is nothing I HATE and LOATHE more than Jim Carey in The Grinch. Way to take a good book and beat it into a bloody pulp. Poor Theo is rolling in his grave.

  3. huzzah for Dickens!
    also, i suggest a future entry about various restagings of The Nutcracker. balanchine vs. baryshnikov (does clara turn into the SPF?), new versions such as Morris’s Hard Nut (http://www.culturevulture.net/Dance/morrishardnut.htm), Nutcracker in the Lower (whch i’m hoping to see this weekend–http://nymag.com/listings/classical/nutcracker-in-the-lower/), and of course Ballet Trockadero (http://www.trockadero.org/nutcracker.html). Or the lovely CVAB version starring Alexia, as seen in Show. 😉 and if you dare broach the subject…ABT vs NYCB! though that may be less divisive in your desert than it is here in the city.

    You can’t call yourself cultured if you don’t discuss the ballet, dahhling! and happy half-birthday, by the way…

    1. You’re going to hate me for saying this, but the best version of the nutcracker I have seen was the Motion Picture done by the Northwest Ballet Company, with sets and costumes designed by Maurice Sendak. Visually stunning.

      Most of the productions I’ve seen IRL have been pretty standard. Now, fly me out to New York, take me to all the versions playing in the city, and you will get a bloodthirsty debate!

      1. could never hate you, sorellina! and i believe PNB was the first production of Nut i saw (and continued to see every year on PBS, haha). favorite, though, was probably the year I was with the Virginia Symphony, rehearsing with orchestra only (no dancers; no chorus). got to the part in Act I with the children’s chorus part, and suddenly EVERY orchestra member started singing the part in falsetto. that, my dear, is a christmas miracle!

        also, in ref to your comment below, just made reservations for Hard Nut at BAM–one of my friends knows a girl from the cast and it should be fabulous. wish i could fly you and j out, but alas, a full report will have to do…

      1. ALSO, my other favorite has to be baryshnikov/kirkland because they dance an unbelievable pas, not that i’ve seen them live, of course. even though i hate the clara-becomes-the-SPF bit and gelsey’s costume is not the greatest, my vote always goes to the insane and tortured but crazily brilliant female lead paired with mischaaaaaa.

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