The Ultimate Bah, Humbug!

TITLE: INSPECTING CAROL

AUTHOR: DANIEL SULLIVAN AND THE RESIDENT ACTING COMPANY

WHERE: SEATTLE REPERTORY THEATER

THE BOTTOM LINE: A sly send-up of a regional-theater Christmas tradition bids fair to become a tradition itself.

It takes a Scrooge to say so out loud, but America's regional theaters have become sickly dependent on A Christmas Carol. Dozens of troupes mount Dickens' sentimental fantasy year after year -- using at least 20 different adaptations, most by artistic directors yearning to be credited as authors -- with ever diminishing artistic vigor yet unflagging box-office success. The profusion of wigs, frock coats and fake British accents...

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