Julia Amann and John Pribyl in A Christmas Carol, CTM

Julia Amann, left, plays the Spirit of Christmas Past for John Pribyl's Ebenezer Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol," produced by Children's Theater of Madison. The show closes Dec. 23, with matinees on the Monday and Tuesday of Christmas week.

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This year's production of "A Christmas Carol" in the Capitol Theater has many familiar elements: a miserly Scrooge, played with a growl by American Players Theatre's John Pribyl; lavish Victorian dresses and coats; a trio of spirits, each with their own style of magic. 

But what makes the production different — aside from beautifully crafted new scenery by Christopher Dunham — are the people who play the familiar characters. This year, I was struck by the clarity and poise of Julia Amann as the Spirit of Christmas Past.

Amann is just 10 years old, a 6th grader at Eagle School. But her confidence and stage presence as she led Scrooge through poignant, sometimes painful scenes from his past, put her on a level with the excellent adult actors surrounding her.

The show runs through Dec. 23

Since 2008, Lindsay Christians has been writing about fine arts and food for The Capital Times. She loves eating at the bar, going to the theater, fine wine and good stories. She lives on the east side with her husband, two cats and too many cookbooks.