Humbug’s my usual reaction when there’s yet another variation of “A Christmas Carol” on local stages this time of year. Can’t someone come up with an original idea for a Christmas play?
No such complaints at The Keegan Theatre, where their response has been a sublime one, returning for its eighth season — a work written so deftly it hits the touchstones of the Dickens tale used in the most subtle ways. At the same time, it fully creates its own world – one also familiar in the theater realm.
Using the language of Dickens’ story, which serve as a kind of a theatrical muscle memory, [Matthew J. Keenan’s “An Irish Carol”] turns out to be one of the least sentimental, most realistic and overall satisfying holiday fare on local stages. Although new to me, it’s not a surprise that it’s become an annual favorite.
Funny, sad and always human; bitter and strong as a shot, “An Irish Carol” is highly recommended holiday viewing.