A plot description of A Christmas Carol would be superfluous for anyone who has lived in this country for at least one holiday season. Those who didn't grow up with the Charles Dickens novella have undoubtedly encountered any one of the hundreds of adaptations the 1843 book has undergone for film, television, and the stage, from a Bill Murray comedy to a 3-D animated film to a Dr. Who special. Its presence is an inevitability. If Dickens had achieved immortality, he would be the world's richest man on royalties alone, though if he truly believed in his book's morality, he would give most of his riches away. Each year, Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre (180 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables) produces its own musical theater version of the classic, courtesy of Earl Maulding, who co-wrote the script, music, and lyrics, as part of the company's family programming. A cast of roughly 20, including several prodigious kids, will take the stage in period costumes to re-enact the ghostly morality play in all its timeless humbuggedness. Maulding's version, which aims to appeal to younger generations as well as their parents, is filled with creatively imagined sequences, including a surprise entrance from the second spirit and an homage to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video. Seriously. Showtimes are 2 p.m. Saturdays from December 1 through 22, with special shows at 7 p.m. December 22 and 3 p.m. December 23. Tickets cost $22.50. Call 305-444-9293 or visit actorsplayhouse.org.
Saturdays, 2 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 22, 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 23, 3 p.m. Starts: Dec. 1. Continues through Dec. 22, 2012