Winter Holidays, Opening

A Christmas Carol

When: Dec. 6-12 2012

And now, a story about the beloved Triangle tradition that is Ira David Wood III's musical, local-reference-filled take on the Dickens classic:

When I was 10 or so, my parents took my brother and me to see the show downtown—it might well have been when a young Frankie Muniz and Evan Rachel Wood were in the cast. I was so deeply annoyed at having to sit through yet another version of the sentimental tale that I threw a hissy fit afterward, which drove my mom to tears at my inability to appreciate something other than TV cartoons.

A decade and a half later, I had recently moved back to the area and, remembering this incident, attempted to assuage my guilt by treating my parents to a night out at that year's production. Afterward, we met with some of my parents' friends for dinner, and now my mom was the one who looked guilty. "I was watching this, and every few minutes there was some reference to local events," she said, stricken. "I thought back and wondered, 'How was Zack supposed to get any of that at age 10?'"

Perhaps the children of this media-saturated age will be more perceptive than I, or at least more grateful to their parents. At the very least, they'll like the cool sets and costumes of this lavish centerpiece of Triangle theater. Find out for yourself during the show's two-city run, which includes five shows at Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh's Progress Energy Center (Thursday–Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.) plus three at Durham Performing Arts Center (Dec.15 at 7 p.m., and Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.). Tickets run $30–$80. —Zack Smith

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