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A Christmas Carol at the Merchant's House

From 9 critic and 11 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Delightful, Enchanting, Absorbing, Entertaining

About the show

Summoners Ensemble Theatre presents its sixth annual run of this one-man adaptation of Charles Dickens's beloved holiday classic. Performed at the landmarked Merchant's House Museum. More…

It's December 1867. Charles Dickens arrives in New York City for a month of sold-out performances of 'A Christmas Carol.' Join the author, portrayed by John Kevin Jones, in the elegant and intimate parlor of the historic, 19th-century Merchant's House for an hour-long performance created from Dickens's own script. Meet Mr. Dickens and toast the holiday season before select performances.

Magical MissTari Tour

for a previous production "I love the story, I love Kevin, and I love this adaptation...After all these years, there's an ease and such clarity to the performances. Each character, even our omnipotent narrator, is so beautifully delineated, it's as if we've seen 20 actors instead of one. The ease also added a lot more natural humor in the piece, which then set off the powerful humanity at the end of the evening. I was weeping, as always." Full Review


for a previous production "John Kevin Jones gives Dickens' novella a fresh theatrical flavor...Jones, as stand-in for Dickens, has a commanding presence and urbane air...This take on 'A Christmas Carol' comes across like a piece of chamber music. With his endlessly expressive voice, Jones taps into the rich textures of Dickens' embroidered language and makes the iconic characters come alive one by one...The performance has no dull patches. Jones continually pulls the audience in." Full Review

Out Magazine

for a previous production "In the quaint yet ornate setting, Jones easily captivates the audience with his brightly hued voice. Portraying Dickens as narrator, his delight for sharing the story is tangible and intoxicating...The end result is a truly spellbinding presentation of 'A Christmas Carol' that makes the familiar tale feel fresh and new all over again. Jones’ telling of the narrative is so richly evocative that the audience often forgets that they are simply listening to someone tell them a story." Full Review

Edge New York

for a previous production "The talented co-adapter of the classic story has a clear love of the classic ‘A Christmas Carol’ text, and relays the tale flawlessly in his one-hour, intermissionless performance. But to simply call this a 'reading' would be a gross understatement. Jones brings this timeworn story of greed and redemption to life via his animated acting and careful touches…This spirited rendition of ‘A Christmas Carol’ has quickly become an instant holiday classic." Full Review


for a previous production "The Summoners Ensemble Theatre eschews grandiosity for authenticity...The effect is akin to a family reading of the story, as led by a very charismatic uncle...While slightly altered for a modern audience, the text loses nothing in richness and dexterity, especially when voiced by Jones' resonant baritone...This is masterful storytelling, like a live-action book on tape...It is likely that only a few hundred people will get the pleasure of seeing it. Make sure you're one of them." Full Review


for a previous production "A delightful production…There's a Christmas tree and some holiday sprucing, creating a festive and historic background for John Kevin Jones' thoroughly engaging solo performance…With outstretched arms, his ghost of Jacob Marley is an eerie, breathy growl. As directed by Dr. Rhonda Dodd, the assortment of characters that follow, from richly Shakespearean to music hall slick to storybook innocent, are played with realism befitting the intimate setting." Full Review

New York Daily News

for a previous production "You don’t need CGI to get the point across. Just a good storyteller. Jones is very good. Standing in the parlor of the historic Merchant’s House Museum, which is decked for the holidays, Jones summons Charles Dickens’ classic characters seamlessly under the direction of co-adapter Rhonda Dodd. A flick of a facial expression, a shift in vocal tone and canny change in body language does the trick." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

for a previous production "Jones traverses the familiar moments in an abbreviated version of the novella without giving short shrift to the key plot points and themes of despair and joy, death and new beginnings...Adorned with period holiday decorations, Merchant’s House is a special place to get reacquainted with the holiday classic...Despite 'A Christmas Carol' being the recipient of countless modern-day interpretations that almost everyone has seen in one form or another, Jones’s rendering is fresh and lively." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

for a previous production "It is immediately clear that Summoners Ensemble has found a capable, captivating performer in Mr. Jones. With his commanding voice and adroit cadence, Jones’ Dickens plays like a live-action audiobook. He navigates with facility the changes between characters and moments, finding humor and pathos in the complex prose...A sincere, stripped-down, wholly interesting and wholly innovative approach to the text that left me feeling the right kind of warm and fuzzy." Full Review

Delightful, Exquisite, Great acting, Enchanting

See it if You are a Dickens fan and have never seen a live reading. John Kevin Jones is delightful!

Don't see it if If you are a bah humbug i.e. dislike Dickens. Dislike moralistic stories. Dislike 1-man shows.

Absorbing, Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Refreshing

See it if you want to classic tale told in a new, spellbinding way. This show is beautifully performed and perfect for the holidays. It's delightful.

Don't see it if you don't like A Christmas Carol, one-man shows, listening to stories being told, dislike period recreations, or if don't like to be charmed

Great acting, Great staging, Delightful, Entertaining, Wonderful

See it if Get in the Christmas mood, Dicken tells you his story A Christmas Carol. In a beautiful old mansion.

Don't see it if If you dislike a Christmas Carol Story. If you want fast paced.

Also Wonderful experience as hearing the story can picture it in my head. I... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Masterful, Refreshing

See it if You want to hear a classic tale freshly told in a beautiful space. Performer is delightful and reveals the piece masterfully.

Don't see it if You hate listening to a story... but even if you can't handle podcasts at least you have a handsome man and a lovely room to look at.

Absorbing, Great acting, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you want to see this Christmas story performed by a talented actor doing approximately 20 different roles from the Dickens classic.

Don't see it if you want something original. One-person performances of A Christmas Carol are not uncommon. But see my additional notes below.

Also The production itself was excellent, but there are additional reasons ... Read more Read less

Delightful setting, Well acted, Fun to do once, Great writing, A bit slow

See it if you love Dickens' tale/want to embrace the holiday spirit. Merchant's House (decorated for Xmas) is enchanting setting. Well cut/well acted.

Don't see it if you want bells & whistles. ACC is an old-fashioned pleasure. "Dickens" tells story...and your eyelids may grow heavy. For some, annual tradn

Also Tickets are always hard to snag for this annual event. It was fun to s... Read more Read less

Enchanting, Great acting, Intense, Epic, Great staging

See it if you want a light hearted holiday show with a bit of suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Don't see it if you're against holidays and you're a total scrooge

Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You've enjoyed the story as a Christmas favorite.

Don't see it if You're generally annoyed by how much of a jerk scrooge is for most of the play.

Soul stirring, heartwarming, rapturous, and glowing

See it if you want to experience one of the two can't-miss Christmas events in New York City--the other being the New York City Ballet's "Nutcracker"

Don't see it if if you need crashing chandeliers, levitating witches, or want to wait six months to pay $200 to see "Hamilton."


See it if Like creation of Ebenezer

Don't see it if Bored with Dickens

Exquisite, Great writing, Masterful, Thought-provoking

See it if I loved it..always have liked it since I was little and watched the movie. Seeing the show made it come alive.

Don't see it if You have little ones who may be frightened by the darker parts with Scrooge.

Cast & Creatives (6)