City Life | Theater

Comic Con v A Christmas Carol: Dawn of Merriment

Two November traditions with more in common than you've ever realized


The first weekend of November delivers two annual traditions returning to Providence – Trinity Rep’s production of A Christmas Carol and the Rhode Island Comic Con. On the surface these two events are apples and oranges, but upon closer inspection it’s more tomato/tomahto than you’d think. Seriously, how many sci-fi shows and comics have done a Christmas Carol riff?

Supernatural Visions of the Past, Present and Future
This is the most obvious connection between the two. In A Christmas Carol, Scrooge is visited by ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. At Comic Con, Providence is visited not just by ghosts, but also monsters, aliens and talking sponges (also Soup Nazis and Nicolas Cage’s girlfriend from The Rock) from throughout pop culture’s history. I’m not saying Scrooge is a Time Lord, but he certainly appears to be a cosmic nexus point, allowing transdimensional passage across multiple planes of existence and timelines. Plus the guy who played Bib Fortuna in Return of the Jedi played the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in the George C. Scott version that one time!

Shared Trope: Rich White Guy as Feared Villain/Beloved Hero
Before Bruce Wayne, Mr. Burns, Lex Luthor or Tony Stark were ubiquitous Comic Con mainstays, Ebenezer Scrooge was repping rich white guys everywhere. As a monster who looks upon the world’s struggling and impoverished many as a scourge and, later, a philanthropic, “let’s fix Tim’s legs” kind of rich guy, Scrooge was doing it before it was cool, and not with the ability to block out the sun or a robotic super suit, but with the power of song… and sometimes Muppets.

Ways to enjoy both simultaneously
A Christmas Carol will be running through the end of December, so if you’re local you don’t need to worry about choosing between it and Comic Con. However, if you’re coming from out of town, you might try killing two birds with one stone. How? Let’s assume you’re a Ghostbusters cosplayer. Why not shout, “Look out! It’s a free floating, full torso vaporous apparition!” when Jacob Marley reveals himself to Scrooge? (There are lots of reasons why not, actually). Conversely, you could dress up as Tiny Tim, approach Jeremy Bulloch’s – aka Boba Fett’s – autograph booth and see if you contract him to “take care” of your dad’s boss. Tell him disintegrations are on the table, and work that impossible optimism in the face of being dealt a crap card from life to try to charm him into taking on the job for free.

A Christmas Carol opens on November 7
201 Washington Street,

Rhode Island Comic Con, November 6-8
1 Sabin Street, 


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