GREAT CAESAR’S GHOST: Bifocals Turns a Lens on A Christmas Carol
A Theater Review by Julinda D. Lewis
At: CAT Theatre, 419 No. Wilkinson Rd., RVA 23227
Performances: December 16, 2019
Ticket Prices: $10
Info: (703) 501-6811 or firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve been aware of the Bifocals Senior Theatre for quite some time, but this was the first time I actually got to see them in action. The company of seniors (55+) for seniors regularly tours to area senior centers, but they present two performances (one matinee and one evening on the same day) of each show at the CAT Theatre on No. Wilkinson Road.
The current show, Great Caesar’s Ghost, the first of four touring events for the season, is a humorous take on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Here, a woman business owner who has a reputation of being hard to get along with gets a visit from the ghost of Julius Caesar who shows her the error of her ways. The pared-down plot doesn’t bother to take her on a journey to the past, present, and future, but the result is the same.
Anne Kight Lloyd plays the lead role of Patricia Watson with an appropriately hard-nosed edginess – perhaps slightly influenced by Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. Peter Holleran is Caesar’s Ghost – in sandals, a toga, golden arm bands and a laurel wreath headband. In contrast to Lloyd, his character is more along the lines of, let’s say, Steve Martin – over-the-top and played for laughs.
Donna Toliver-Walker and Rob Stuebner fill all the supporting roles; each play three characters, often communicating with the formidable Ms. Watson via phone – the kind with curly cords!
Running under an hour with no intermission and including a holiday sing-along at the end, Great Caesar’s Ghost is an amusing divertissement. The production’s sparse set, consisting of a desk with a laptop and telephone, a door frame, and a pedestal that does double duty as a telephone stand as well as a concierge desk, along with the minimal lighting make this production easy to transport and I imagine it would probably be a welcome addition to a senior center’s programming.
Julinda D. Lewis is a dancer, teacher, and writer who was born in Brooklyn, NY and now lives in Eastern Henrico County.
Photo Credits: CAT Theatre Facebook page