12 Days of Christmas Spirit
By David Hotle
Marley was dead to begin with. There was no doubt whatsoever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it; and Scrooge’s name was good upon ‘change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a doornail.
There have been hundreds of adaptations of Charles Dickens’ 1843 classic novel “A Christmas Carol.” On Friday, a group of people gathered at the Washington Public Library got to see one Thespian’s energetic take on the Victorian supernatural tale. Broadway performer and filmmaker Duffy Hudson, armed only with a red scarf for a prop, performed a one-man show in which he played every character – his facial expressions and body language distinguishing the different characters.
“I’ll do about 30 performances this December,” Hudson said.
Hudson said that he began acting in high school, before graduating from college with a theater degree. He interned at a Broadway theater for three years. He has also directed several movies. He said that one of his movies had won a film festival in West Liberty, which first brought him to Iowa. During the trip, he got to know many people. He was later invited back to do a performance of Edgar Allen Poe. He now comes out to Iowa three times a year and does about 10 shows each time.
He said the entire story is performed, although it is slightly abridged from the original novel. Hudson said “A Christmas Carol” was originally a serial, which meant the longer it was, the more money Dickens made. When adapting the story for the stage, Hudson said he removed much of the descriptive information. The remaining story is about 80 minutes. This is his third year of doing the performance.
In the audience, sisters Aurora and Zoe Kane had brought several of their friends and their parents to see the show as part of their birthday celebrations.
“I really, really wanted to see it because he is from Broadway and he is doing it by himself, so I thought it might be cool to watch,” Aurora said. “I’ve never seen a play like this before.”
The sisters have seen the show on television, but not a live performance.
“We wanted to have a sleepover, and mom said we should see the performance and go back home,” Zoe said.
The girls were fixated all through the show.