‘A Christmas Carol’ Comes to Niagara University

November 8, 2012  |  by Michael Freedman

Miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, kindly Bob Cratchit, lovable Tiny Tim and the haunting ghosts of Christmas past, present and future will come vividly to life in Charles Dickens Presents: A Christmas Carol at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25, at Niagara University’s Leary Theatre within the Elizabeth Ann Clune Center for Theatre, Clet Hall.

Sponsored by the Friends of Niagara University Theatre, this exciting, family-friendly production features a critically acclaimed solo performance by WKBW-TV chief meteorologist Mike Randall. The matinee performance will be immediately followed by a reception in the theatre lounge where audience members can meet Randall and sample holiday cookies.

Celebrated for his one-man show, Mark Twain Live!, which has received standing ovations at NU and at theatres around the country, Randall has also performed the role of British author Charles Dickens about 75 times with his one-man show, Charles Dickens Presents: A Christmas Carol. The show premiered to rave reviews in 2007 at Buffalo’s MusicalFare Theatre.

The Buffalo News wrote, “…a talented actor and magnetic stage presence …when Randall loses himself in one of those Dickensian bouts of rich description, he’s at the top of his game.”  Peter Henderson of Time Warner’s Crossroads reported, “… the characters came alive with color and flourish …we were transported to Dickens’ England and didn’t want to come back … Randall’s command of the work was jaw-dropping …the characters seemed life-like, as if  Dickens himself were speaking of people who had just left the room.” And Debra Durkee of MetroSource reported, “While Randall was physically the only person on stage, it seemed as though a rich cast was playing out the drama … an exquisite, moving performance of A Christmas Carol.”

A lover of Buffalo history, Randall discovered that Dickens had actually performed in Buffalo in 1868. A wildly popular Victorian era author who had once considered acting as a career, from 1858 through 1870, Dickens presented readings of his most popular books throughout England and North America. Dickens relished the opportunity to perform his works and to meet his readers. He was a hit – reportedly throwing himself into his readings, becoming the characters in his books and acting out scenes, from Oliver Twist to A Christmas Carol, his most well known tale.

As chief meteorologist for WKBW-TV’s Good Morning Western New York, Randall is also an award-winning feature reporter who has interviewed such celebrities as Willie Nelson, Steve Allen, Bill Cosby, Gregory Peck and Red Skelton. He attended Onondaga Community College for radio and TV and SUNY at Geneseo for theater arts. He received his certificate in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University and earned both the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association Seals of Approval. He has been with WKBW-TV since 1983. In addition to his celebrated one-man shows, Randall is a magician and member of the Puppeteers of America.

For tickets and information, please call 716.286.8685 or visit the NU Theatre Box Office.