November 20, 2017

Bringing Kids To ‘A Christmas Carol’

I think I’m becoming a Christmas softie. I was always more of a “Scrooged” kind of Christmas story girl, not “A Christmas Carol.” The Dickens classic was a little too sweet. But here I am, joyful after seeing Omaha Community Playhouse’s production of “A Christmas Carol” this past weekend. I get it, now, why families make it a tradition to see every year. I feel like it’s the quintessential show to kick off the holiday season.

This year, I received two complimentary tickets to review the show, so I took my oldest son (he’s almost 8) to see it for his first time.

Thinking of bringing your kids? Here’s what to expect:

What to expect

Jerry Longe is in his 12th year of portraying Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol.” Photo courtesy Omaha Community Playhouse

– This is a huge production. The cast is quite large, the sets look remarkable, and the costumes are to die for. When the curtain goes up for that first number, you’ll be wowed by this show. It’s community theater at a different level.

– Jerry Longe has played Ebenezer Scrooge for 12 years, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role. Granted, I’ve seen Dick Boyd in the role many years back and thought the same. But, Longe really has made this role his own. He adds some fun touches that made my son laugh.

– There’s a surprise at the end of the production. Don’t sneak out when you think it’s over. Just wait.

Timing a potty break

Having a drink in the show? Better know when best to time the restroom break.

The first act is 70 minutes long, so if you or your kid has a small bladder, go before the show begins. The intermission is long enough for a restroom break, though, if you can hold it.

The whole show is about 2 hours and 20 minutes with the intermission. If you partake in any of the Christmas cheer in the lobby (AKA, drinks), you might not last until the end.

What ages would like this best?

Cookies are good rewards for sitting nicely through a 70-minute first act.

This is suitable for most ages, though kids under 3 are not permitted. Early grade school ages would be great ages to introduce this show. The length of the show, though, makes me think that it may be a test of attention spans on really young ones.

Also, I will say this: There are a couple parts that may scare young ones. When the ghost of Jacob Marley arrives, he’s accompanied minions. Those little goblin kids are the stuff of nightmares. (I think they bothered me more than my son)

The Ghost of Christmas Future might also scare kids. I remember the big things being a lot scarier, but it wasn’t so bad this time around. Maybe I’ve grown up.

My son’s a second grader and thought the music was one of the best parts of the show, so there you have it.

If your kid catch the acting bug while seeing this show (there are a TON of kids in the ensemble), then I recommend signing them up for the Henry Fonda Theatre Academy at the Playhouse. Here’s my post about the acting class for ages 4-6 and for acting class for ages 7-10.

What’s it about again?

Jerry Longe plays Ebenezer Scrooge during his journey with the Ghost of Christmas Past. “A Christmas Carol” is at Omaha Community Playhouse through Dec. 23, 2017. Photo courtesy Omaha Community Playhouse

“A Christmas Carol” is one of Omaha’s favorite holiday tradition. Grumpy and greedy Ebenezer Scrooge goes on a life-changing journey led by three ghosts.

If you go to “A Christmas Carol”

“A Christmas Carol”

Where: Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.

When: Now through Dec. 23; performances are Wednesdays, 7 p.m., Thursdays–Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.,
and Sundays, 2 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. (No performances on Weds., Nov. 22 and Thurs., Nov. 23.)

Cost: Before Dec. 13, tickets start at $38 (adults) and $25 (students). Dec. 13-23, tickets start at $42 (adults) and $29 (students). For groups of 12 or more, tickets are $32 (adults) and $18 (students) for all dates. On sale now at the OCP Box Office, by calling (402) 553-0800 or online at www.OmahaPlayhouse.com or www.TicketOmaha.com.