A Christmas Carol: The Concert

Review it Rah-shay By Dec 20, 2013 14 Comments

CCCITUNESV2revisedDecember 17th marked the 170th anniversary of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and I had an opportunity to catch an early preview of A Christmas Carol – The Concert. This remake of the classic Dickens tale is performed as a dramatic concert featuring a full symphony orchestra, choir, rhythm section, a Narrator, and three soloists.

I was a little skeptical of a classic book being performed as a dramatic concert. There have been so many variations of this book that sometimes the message is lost. After watching the concert and thinking about it for a few days I find that I have mixed feelings about what I saw.



What I liked:

  • The soloists were fantastic with magnificent, rich voices. They had great voices which were full of emotion and power. The songs were flavors of gospel, jazz and blues. There were beautiful choirs harmonizing along with them.
  • The orchestra was beautiful. They were a highlight to this production with a rich sound.
  • The narrator was very dramatic. At times she bordered on over dramatic but that is what made her such a delight. The text of A Christmas Carol is wonderful but very different from my usual reads. When I was made to read this book in the past I found myself distracted. Narrator E Faye Butler commanded attention and kept my interest.
    • DSC_9934

What I did not like

  • The concert is a bit long. It is broken up into two acts, which helps, but honestly I found myself drifting towards the end of the first act. The second act goes much more quicker than the first but the songs were not as much fun. And yes, I get that at the point in the book/play Scrooge is going through redemption however the tone of the songs just seemed overwrought and way too melodramatic. 
  • The songs, while a nice variety, all seemed to be big productions. Even the softer numbers seemed loud and grandly over produced. The songs, written by Alisa Hauser, are just wordy and did not do much for me to extend the story as intended. I often found myself tuning out the musical numbers as I waited for the narrator and actors to begin their parts again. 


Overall I think this may be a great version for people who may be looking for a fresh take of A Christmas Carol which relies on a traditional storytelling with a Broadway flavor. I don’t know that I would view continually but can see me popping in randomly to catch the story of Scrooge’s redemption and transformation.


If you want to see for yourself: A Christmas Carol: The Concert will be airing on WHYY on Sunday, December 22nd at 1:30pm. Check your local affiliate for the exact date and time in your area.



r’s note: I was sent a copy of the DVD to help with my review. All opinions are my own. 


I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.


  1. Terry says:

    I have always liked the story, A Christmas Carol.. just not sure I would want it with someone singing.

  2. Lawna says:

    Sounds like a lot of fun. I love the Christmas story, A Christmas Carol!

  3. Bobbi Renee Hass-Burleson says:

    Oh I would kill to go to something like this!! Sounds wonderful 🙂

  4. What a lot of fun. We don’t have concerts for that here so yours must have been a much more meaningful experience. 🙂

  5. How cool to adapt something as dramatic as A Christmas Carol into a music concert. Thanks for sharing what you liked and didnt like about it.

  6. I love this classic story and how cool is it that they re-did it like this.

  7. Its my favourite story, and concert in this holiday season. Amazing ..

  8. Rosey says:

    Oh how wonderful, I’d love to see this too!

  9. Sarah Bailey says:

    Wow I had no idea it had been 170 years – what a lovely way to celebrate such a loved Christmas tale.

  10. How nice. 🙂 I love creative holiday shows. This sounds amazing.. hope I can catch it!

  11. That must have been amazing to see. I am so glad you shared though I would love to see it in person.

  12. Pam Hudson says:

    This sounds like something I would enjoy this time of year. It is different and puts a little bit different spin on the holiday mood and celebrating. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Ashley Gill says:

    My daughter and I would have a blast at a concert like this! I love music and live music is even better.. Throw some Christmas in there and I’m sold! 🙂

  14. I’m not a big fan of long concerts either but this one I would have love to have seen. I like Christmas concerts. 🙂

Your turn! Tell it to Rah-shay!