SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

December 5, 2013

Past and present

'Christmas Carol' actress remembers NSMT's first production of the Dickens-inspired musical

Given Leigh Barrett’s long history with “A Christmas Carol,” it’s only fitting that she play the Ghost of Christmas Past.

The Reading actress appeared in North Shore Music Theatre’s first production of the Dickens classic in 1989 and remembers it well.

“I was so in awe of being part of the premiere,” Barrett said. “It was the first year the North Shore was enclosed as a year-round space.”

She also remembers the first person to play Scrooge, Munson Hicks, one of two actors to appear in that role before David Coffee.

“He was an extraordinary Scrooge,” Barrett said. “He had a devilish sense of humor that showed through.”

Coffee, who will be playing the miserable miser for the 20th time this year, brings his own distinct charms to the role, Barrett said.

“David really captures to me a nice balance of the curmudgeon and the child-like Scrooge at the end,” she said.

Barrett has appeared in a number of shows at North Shore since 1989, including “The Sound of Music,” “Sweeney Todd” and “My Fair Lady,” but she rejoined the cast of “A Christmas Carol” only two seasons ago.

She also plays Mrs. Cratchit in the musical, a role that is usually paired with the Ghost of Christmas Past because both characters are maternal figures.

“The Ghost of the Past, the way I portray her, she is sort of the ghost of hope,” Barrett said. “As any mother hopes their child will learn the lesson the first time — not see anything bad and get it right the first time, so we can live happily ever after. And yet he doesn’t.”

Scrooge resists any feeling of sympathy for his fellow man, even after Barrett’s character shows him what he has gained from the love of others and how he suffered from its absence.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • North Shore religion calendar Saturday, April 19 Easter Bunny Breakfast & Egg Hunt, 10 a.m. to noon, Northshore Unitarian Universalist Church, 323 Locust St., Danvers. The youth groups of Northshore and Beverly Unitarian Universalist churches will hold an Easter breakfast and egg

    April 19, 2014

  • North Shore religion news in brief The Rev. Marya DeCarlen has been named the new, full-time priest in charge at All Saints Episcopal Church of the North Shore in Danvers. DeCarlen's ministry with the parish begins Sunday, April 27. Her appointment comes after the church's yearlong in

    April 19, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Teenage girl’s boyish figure is often deceiving to others Dear Abby: I'm a 14-year-old girl with a problem. Because of my buzzed short hair, slim hips and flat chest, I frequently get mistaken for a boy. It really bothers me because, despite my haircut and body shape, I have a feminine face and I wear women

    April 19, 2014

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday and Sunday, April 19 and 20

    Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vet Connection: Is it OK to give a dog a bone? We have all seen the cartoons and commercials depicting dogs burying bones and stashing them away for later. Unfortunately, most pet owners are completely unaware of the significant risks and problems that are associated with feeding dogs these treat

    April 18, 2014

  • Ask Dog Lady: Why is my dog fascinated with burying things? Dear Dog Lady, My dog came across a dead cat at the park and proceeded to bury the cat with surrounding leaves by using her nose and pushing the leaves over the dead cat. Two days later, we went back to the park, and she found the dead cat again and

    April 18, 2014

  • ed Ipswich author to share drawing techniques Most of Ed Emberley's 80 children's books, 20 of which are still in print, have one goal in mind. "Showing the kids you can draw; everybody can draw something," he said. "They get encouragement from working with the simplest thing." Emberley will giv

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • holtenhouse Quick pick 'Voices From the Back Stairs' Jennifer Pustz of Historic New England presents "Voices From the Back Stairs" tomorrow at 2, at the Judge Samuel Holten House, 171 Holten St., Danvers. In her presentation, Pustz explores domestic service in 19th- and 20

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Assistant’s gruff attitude needs to be smoothed out Dear Abby: How do I deal with an assistant who keeps calling me a "brown-noser"? She did it again yesterday at a staff meeting in front of my boss and another assistant. It was the third time she has said it. She is gruff and rude, and several people

    April 18, 2014

  • Friday's Best Bets Best Bets for Friday, April 18

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

NDN Video
Comments Tracker