Sweep away the Scrooge in you with the Denver Center Theatre Company's A Christmas Carol

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I've seen the Denver Center Theatre Company's production of A Christmas Carol more than once, and as someone who was brought up on a diet of Mr. Magoo, Reginald Owen, that nice thick novel by Charles Dickens and, later, Bill Murray in Scrooged, I never tire of it: Well-played by the ensemble, with gorgeous Victorian sets and costumes, it's a little lengthy for the youngest children, but a delight for adults.

As with a book, you can return to the play like an old friend, and it does all the right things: scaring you when it's supposed to and making you giddy with holiday spirit, no matter how grumpy you were at the start. It transports -- the mark of any great play -- and unveils to us the sheer joy of the holiday season, which heretofore might have been blackened by the commercialism of our times. Thank you, Mr. Dickens, for the most classic kick in the pants.

This year's DCTC production starts tonight at 7:30 p.m. and continues daily, except Mondays, through Christmas Eve, in the Stage Theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex; for showtimes and tickets, starting at $35, go to the Denver Center website or call 303-893-4100. And remember these words, as they well describe how you'll feel when it's over:

I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to every-body! A happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!

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