“Inspecting Carol” is not your parents kind of Christmas play, but they would probably love it anyway. Now playing at Mesquite Arts Centers Black Box Theatre, “Carol” is about as non-traditional as it gets. Set in a run-down community theatre in an unnamed midwestern city, the story revolves around a burned-out troupe of actors reaching the end of their motivation. Ticket sales have tanked over the years, and the only thing keeping them afloat are annual grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. And this year they might not even get that.
This season, they are scheduled for a visit from an inspector from the NEA who will be assessing their annual performance of Dickens “Christmas Carol” which last years inspector viewed as suffering from “significant artistic deficit.” To make matters worse, their lead actor has decided the play needs a major rewrite, another doesnt know his lines, and the stage manager has, well, a few problems of her own. Tiny Tim isnt so tiny after playing the part for nearly ten years, and the actor playing his father, Bob Cratchit, has a bad back and a bad attitude. So what could possibly go wrong?
Really? You had to ask?
“Inspecting Carol” runs for five more performances through next weekend. Tickets can be pruchased at the MCT website. The show does have a few PG-rated moments, so is not recommended for kids under 12.