Two days; two wildly different ‘Christmas Carols’

Christmas Carols, Goodman and Klingon style.

“Bah! Humbug!” Can you believe I’ve never seen an on-stage adaptation of that Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol? Not even Goodman Theatre’s production, now in its 300th year (or something).

But that’s all changing tonight! It’s Gerald and my tenth anniversary today, and I thought: what lovelier way for us to celebrate sticking around with each other that long than by seeing Goodman’s beloved production of this heartwarming tale?

And I’m not stopping there! I’m following that up tomorrow by seeing A Klingon Christmas Carol. When I learned of this production a few months go, I just knew I had to see it. Not that I’m a trekkie or anything, but it sounded so…other-worldly…how could you not? AND! I’m forgoing press night at Wicked to see this. How’s THAT for stickin’ to my guns?

More info on A Klingon Christmas Carol from press notes:

Commedia Beauregard, a Saint Paul, Minnesota-based theater company, has announced the Chicago premiere of their unique holiday production, A Klingon Christmas Carol, opening at the Greenhouse Theater Center on November 27 and running through December 19, 2010.

The first play ever to be produced entirely in the Klingon language, the Twin Cities phenomenon A Klingon Christmas Carol has finally come to Chicago. Scrooge has neither honor nor courage in this uproarious twist on the classic holiday tale. Can the visits of three spirits help him to become a true warrior in time to save Tiny Tim from a horrible fate? Find out in Commedia Beauregard’s melding of Charles Dickens’ morality tale with the language and culture of the Star Trek warrior race. Performed “in the original Klingon” (with English subtitles provided for the benefit of audience members who don’t speak the language), this bizarre hit has earned itself a following of both Trek devotees and novices alike.

“Klingons wouldn’t care if Scrooge was not charitable or nice,” explained Commedia Beauregard Artistic Director Christopher O. Kidder. “Instead, the spirits that visit our Scrooge are trying to help him become honorable and courageous, the two highest virtues of Klingon society.”

tlhIngan Hol(Klingon) is a fully functional language, invented for the Star Trek television series by philologist Marc Okrand. The producers of the Star Trek franchise tasked him with creating a complete language that could be used by the bumpy-headed alien race that had become a major part of their science fiction universe.

As with any translation, working English into Klingon is not a precise process. Translating A Christmas Carol into the guttural warrior tongue was especially problematic for Commedia Beauregard because the Klingons have no gods and no Christ, hence no Christmas. The title of the play translates roughly as “Feast of the Long Night Song” and could most closely be understood to be more of a winter solstice carol.

So, why Klingon?

“We wanted to put together a show that people outside the theatre world could appreciate,” said Kidder, “but we also wanted to put together a show that fit with our mission of producing translated works.”


2 thoughts on “Two days; two wildly different ‘Christmas Carols’

  1. Ok I know that you’re too much of a theatre snob to like Wicked, but come on..A Klington Xmas Carol vs Wicked? Really?

    PS I like Wicked. Are you going to delete me from your friends list now ;)

    1. I’ve seen Wicked three times when it was in Chicago during its original five-year run. Each time I liked it more. I don’t dislike it, and would love to see it again, but scheduling didn’t work out this time. And I’d never delete you from my friends list, Ali! Especially for questionable taste.

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