"A Christmas Carol" musical playing at the Rochester Opera House for an extended run will have you singing the praises of the season and the play and cast, too.
Topping the bill is stand-in Scrooge Robert Carroll, who wasn't an understudy, but was familiar with the role, having played it several times before.
When Billy Butler, who was originally cast as Scrooge, came down ill a few days ago, Carroll stepped into the breach with superb acting and singing, especially in his soulful self-revelation in "Am I that Man?" late in Act II.
The music is mostly joyous, and direction and choreography by Jenry Towle gives the production great pace and rhythm.
There was a phalanx of standouts in this play, but shining brightly was the Ghost of Christmas present Ryan Salvato, whose booming condemnations of Ebeneezer Scrooge strike righteous terror in the miserly, miserable tyrant.
Also Shaughnessey Gower, who plays young Ebeneezer's sweetheart in his lone fleeting chance at love; and Patrick Dorrow, who plays a young Scrooge and Bob Cratchit is equally magnificent in both roles.
And lest we forget, Alex Brown as Tiny Tim, whose life is threatened if Scrooge doesn't change his odious ways, is a complete delight, with is clear tenor voice singing and saying, "God bless us all."
Meanwhile, the trouper award goes to Sydney Weiser, the ghost of Christmas past, who lost her crown during one of her scenes, continued her lines, then deftly picked it up and just carried around till she could get off stage.
Be ready for an emotional Act II, from the depths of despair to the joy of the holidays and a reformed and rejoicing Ebeneezer Scrooge at home with the Cratchits on Christmas Day.
Here's hoping Billy Butler gets well quickly and can get back in the saddle!
"A Christmas Carol" runs through Dec. 23.
For tickets click here.