The ghosts of Christmas past, present and future descend upon Vienna with the Open House Theatre

Now in its 32nd consecutive year since it was performed in Vienna by the International Theatre in 1984, the annual staging of A Chrismas Carol by Vienna’s English-language theatre company Open House Theatre (OHT) is a cherished holiday tradition, nearly as venerable as the classic tale itself. Loved by locals and expats alike, Charles Dickens’ definitive morality play popularized the expression “Merry Christmas,” thus defining yuletide as we know it. Initially released in 1843, the story of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge seeing the light after spending a night haunted by allegories transformed Christmas into a conciliatory, charitable affair, proving itself a perfect vehicle for holiday cheer.

The company’s flagship production, this year sees Robert G. Neumayr, OHT’s artistic director, pass the torch to ensemble member Maria Lohn,who made her successful directorial debut there this spring with Collected Stories. Neumayr has stayed on as production manager. Lohn’s approach promises to be more bright and colorful than previous editions, thanks to a new, purpose-built set and a back-to-basics, traditionalist interpretation of the Victorian morality tale. Veteran actor James Sbano returns for the third time as Ebenezer Scrooge, showing off the skills he has honed over a distinguished career that includes roles in the original Broadway runs of Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, as well as the original American production of The Rocky Horror Show.

Dec 1-22, Kunst im Prückel
Tuesdays–Fridays & Sundays at 19:30; Saturdays at 15:00

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Manila born, Brooklyn bred and longtime resident of Vienna, Binu Starnegg is currently managing editor for Metropole. Photo: Visual Hub