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Curtain rises on ‘Christmas Carol’

CHARLES DICKENS’ “A Christmas Carol” starts Friday in Andrews Hall in the Sonoma Community Center. Submitted photo

CHARLES DICKENS’ “A Christmas Carol” starts Friday in Andrews Hall in the Sonoma Community Center. Submitted photo

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Sonoma Community Center and Sonoma Valley Shakespeare Company have teamed up to present Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” in Andrews Hall this December.

Proceeds from the show will benefit both organizations.

Performances will be staged on Friday, Dec. 13, and Saturday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m., Friday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m. and Monday, Dec. 23, at 7 p.m.

“This classic story is one of the most enduring and charming of holiday entertainments,” said Toni Castrone, the community center’s executive director. “Sharing the proceeds from this production is a great way for us to demonstrate the spirit of cooperation that is at the core of our mission.”

Sonoma Valley Shakespeare Company’s artistic director, founding member and Sonoma native Aidan O’Reilly was diagnosed last year with sarcoma, a rare cancer.

Since then, O’Reilly has gone through intensive chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. Now cancer-free and ready to get back to work, O’Reilly acknowledges he has some catch-up to do.

“Unfortunately, taking a year off means losing countless fundraising opportunities for the company,” said O’Reilly, adding, “my next project, ‘Macbeth,’ has been green lit for a feature-length film following its debut here in Sonoma, but the company needs to raise some money before that can happen.”

“A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens, directed by Jim Kent, produced by Anne Petersen and O’Reilly, stars Bob Smith as Ebenezer Scrooge. For details, call 938-4626, ext. 1, or sonomacommunitycenter.org.

The Sonoma Community Center enriches the lives of the people of Sonoma Valley by fostering a broad range of cultural, educational and community services, and by ensuring the preservation and restoration of its historic building. The Sonoma Valley Shakespeare Company is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the act of telling good stories from both contemporary and classical authors and presenting them in first class productions. Its approach is simple: by combining local artists, theatrical professionals and live music, it provides a visceral theatrical experience that will change the way you look at the world.