We went to the theater last night. The house was packed, no social distancing to be found, although everyone was masked and vaxxed. Omicron be damned. Before the show, I had been skeptical about the night’s performance, A Christmas Carol, an old saw that I have already seen way too many of times and in so many different ways, but I left pleasantly surprised by the night’s spectacle. Spiced up with a light show, music and dance and sky-high production values, it made for an enjoyable evening.
This 19th-century Dickensian tale is credited with codifying what we now take for the modern holiday of Christmas. Born in Victorian times where many of our current Christmas traditions were invented. Traditions such as the decorating of evergreens, mistletoe, the exchanging of gifts and the singing of holiday specific songs. Wednesday night, we attended the Garden Glow holiday lights show. As part of that show, we toured Henry Shaw’s country home. As an aside, I learned during this tour that after his death, Shaw’s city home had been moved to the garden’s ground and reassembled nearby his country home. It is now an office building. The country home was built in 1840 and for the show its interior was festooned with authentic Victorian era Christmas decorations. The play’s physical sets were pretty minimalistic, relying more upon the accompanying light show than much furniture. I think that is was my recent memory of Shaw’s house that helped to dress out the play’s sets.