Beleagured 'Christmas Carol' producer takes show on the road
Sometimes in showbiz -- OK, a lot of the time in showbiz -- what's going on backstage is far more interesting than what's happening in front of the audience.
Such is the case with producer-director Kevin Von Feldt's stage version of "A Christmas Carol." The theatrical production played last year at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood amid numerous problems, including technical snafus, big-name cast dropouts and accusations that Von Feldt had not paid some of the workers on the show.
The play flopped and Von Feldt told Culture Monster at the time that he planned to remount the production in order to help recoup his costs.
This holiday season, the show is set to go on tour with stops in Chicago, Miami and a few other cities. Earlier this month, the producer announced an impressive cast that included F. Murray Abraham, Stockard Channing, Timothy Hutton, James Garner and George Wendt.
But since that announcement, Channing and Hutton have dropped out of the production. Von Feldt recently told the Chicago Tribune that their defections were a result of the actors' having read Culture Monster's reports on the failed Hollywood version of the show.
In a remarkably candid interview, the producer admits that the Hollywood production didn't sell well and that the technical rehearsals were disastrous. "“It was like ‘Noises Off’ gone bad,” he said.
And the problems seem to be mounting yet again. Yesterday, the show's Minneapolis engagement at the Orpheum Theatre was canceled after Von Feldt was unable to pay the second deposit to secure the venue, according to a report in the Star Tribune.
Surely this "Christmas Carol" is one haunted production.
-- David Ng
Photo: a scene from last year's "A Christmas Carol" at the Kodak Theatre, starring Christopher Lloyd and John Goodman. Credit: Ed Krieger