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A Dickens of a tale

Nov. 15, 2009

*******A Christmas Carol comes to the World Theater ***

In days gone by, radio was the best form of family entertainment going, with youngsters and adults gathered around to listen to broadcasts and let their imaginations soar. The World Theater at CSU Monterey Bay is offering the opportunity to experience that again when it presents the classic holiday story "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens as a live radio drama.

Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 11 and 12. Audience members can enjoy the live production, then listen to the radio broadcast with family and friends on Christmas Eve.

The story is the classic Victorian morality tale of a bitter old miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, a ruthless moneylender who undergoes a profound experience of redemption over the course of a Christmas Eve.

The production features Equity actor Paul Myrvold (pictured at left) in the lead role of Scrooge. Myrvold is well known to local audiences from performances at the Western Stage, Pacific Repertory Theater and El Teatro Campesino, among others.

Also appearing are veteran actors Donna Federico, Chris Graham, Michelle Vallentyne and Phil Esparza.

Marilyn Abad-Cardinalli directs the production. During a 30-year career at Gavilan College in Gilroy, she has directed and produced more than 100 plays and founded the Summer Theatre Arts Repertory "STAR" program, which has been introducing young people to the performing arts for more than two decades. She is also the executive producer of the Gavilan College educational channel, Gav TV.

"A Christmas Carol" is a traditional holiday story, but the radio version is a unique production with the actors performing a variety of roles, transforming into different characters instantly in front of the audience.

The production will include live music by the Big American Family band - Christina Bailey, Matt Bailey, Sam Wallace, Sara Bollwinkel and Matt Bollwinkel - and Foley artists, people who create live sound effects on stage.

"We will be performing for two distinct audiences," Abad-Cardinalli said, "the audience that comes to see the show on the World Theater stage, and the radio audience who will listen to the broadcast later." The production will be aired on KAZU 90.3 FM at 11 p.m. on Dec. 24.

This is the second year the World Theater has offered a holiday performance.

"We want to produce an annual holiday show as a gift to the community," said World Theater director Joe Cardinalli. "When we discovered the radio version of 'A Christmas Carol,' everyone on the theater staff agreed it was the show to produce."

Tickets range from $10 to $40. Special offer: buy-one, get-one-free. Tickets may be purchased by calling the World Theater box office at (831) 582-4580 or online at Concertgoers can have a pre-show holiday dinner in the Otter Bay Restaurant, located next to the theater. A prix fixe menu will be offered for $19.95. Dinner reservations can be made by calling the box office. For disability-related accommodations, please contact the box office no later than 10 days prior to the performance. The World Theater is located on Sixth Avenue on the CSUMB campus. Driving directions and a campus map are available at