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Lifestyle

December 5, 2013

Past and present

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

(Continued)

“Scrooge travels with the Ghost of Christmas Present to the miners, and to the coast of Ireland and the lighthouse, and the ship,” Barrett said. “It’s beautiful imagery, but if you put everything in, it would be ‘Nicholas Nickleby.’ Nobody wants that at Christmas.”

Barrett has also appeared in “Nicholas Nickleby,” another staging of a Dickens tale, which she describes as “very Dickensian, very heavy.”

“Maybe that speaks to me; I like the dark pieces,” she said. “But I like the light to shine through.”

Barrett feels the version performed at North Shore, which was adapted by former artistic director Jon Kimbell, has evolved in the two years since she has rejoined the production.

“It’s becoming more grounded, more concentrating on the storytelling and less on the spectacle magic of it,” she said. “It’s more organic, growing out of the text and story, and I think it makes it even more magical.”

Barrett feels the current group of actors in the show have developed a strong bond that translates into a powerful performance.

“This company is family; it’s almost a rep company that comes back to do ‘Christmas Carol,’” she said. “I’ve enjoyed all my productions but always had a place in my heart for this.

“I love it because, not only does it talk about the hardships of life that we all walk, but it captured the joy for me of community and family.”

If you go What: "A Christmas Carol" When: Dec. 6 to 22, evening shows Dec. 6, 3, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22 at 7:30 p.m.; matinees Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 at 2 p.m. Where: North Shore Music Theatre, 62 Dunham Road, Beverly Information: Tickets from $55 to $65 at 978-232-7200 or www.nsmt.org or in person at North Shore Music Theatre. Kids 18 and under save 50 percent on Family Friday (Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m.).

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