A Dickens of a show

Bill Raymond plays Scrooge at Hartford Stage.
Bill Raymond plays Scrooge at Hartford Stage.

It's punnily fitting that we like to call annual Christmas shows evergreens.

Which brings us to the sturdiest of evergreens - the perenially popular "A Christmas Carol," which scrooges it up with long-running productions at Hartford Stage and at Trinity Rep in Providence.

Hartford is the youngun of this pair, reaching its 15th anniversary of "Carol" this year. The theater has added things up this way: those past productions have meant 3,000 pounds of dry ice, 200 pounds of plastic snow, and more than 287,000 audience members.

Bill Raymond returns to the role of Scrooge for Hartford Stage's run, which starts Friday and continues through Dec. 29. Maxwell Williams directs.

Trinity Rep's version - its 36th annual version - kicked off earlier this week and runs through Dec. 29. That theater counters with its own number-tossing info: 140 kids turned out to audition for the 10 children's roles in this year's production; 22 actors have played Scrooge over the past 35 years; and Timothy Crowe is ol' Ebenezer this year - making it his 15th time taking on the role.

- KRISTINA DORSEY

Trinity Rep's "A Christmas Carol," 201 Washington St., Providence; through Dec. 29; showtimes vary, so check website; tickets start at $36 (start at $22 for ages 2-14); (401) 351-4242, trinityrep.com.

Hartford Stage's "A Christmas Carol," 50 Church St., Hartford; opens Fri. and runs through Dec. 20; showtimes vary, so check website; $26.50-$83.50 ($11.50-$68.50 students); (860) 527-5151, hartfordstage.org.

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