STAMFORD, Conn. -- Night after night and from city to city, Chad Bradford brings Christmas joy to enraptured audiences in his role as Scrooge in the Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s production of A Christmas Carol. Bradford and the rest of the cast come to Stamford on Thursday, Dec. 10, for a performance at The Palace.
“I feel like I’m able to live my dream to bring something very touching and very moving to people,’’ Bradford said in a phone interview. “I think that’s the motivation of a lot of artists. I end every night feeling so privileged to do such a timeless piece. Especially at this time of year, to give people who might be going through a hard time, some relief for a couple of hours is a tremendous feeling. It’s the goal of all us.”
Bradford brings Scrooge to stage for the first time in his career as a professional actor, which began in 2009. The role is challenging because of the transformative personality of Scrooge, who begins the play cold-hearted and gruff and ends it as generous and kind in the Charles Dickens classic.
“It’s a massive, intricate, nuanced and exhilarating role,’’ Bradford said. “In our version, I’m on stage for 85 percent of the time and having to stay engaged the whole time is a great challenge. It’s a lot of work to stay in the moment and not think about Boston or Burlington or wherever the next show is. It’s great to experience the transformation and opens it up for so much fun. And it touches the audience in such a special way.”
Nebraska Theatre Caravan was founded in 1975 and started touring with A Christmas Carol in 1979. The production features 24 performers, live musicians and Broadway-style scenery and costumes.
“I had a friend come see it and he said it’s like a Christmas card exploded right in front of him,’’ Bradford said. “You’ve got these wonderful old songs that have stood the test of time. There are some wonderful arrangements with a great group of musicians. You’ll hear a beautiful chorale range. It feels like you’ve stepped back into Dickens’ London. I’ve been able to take the best bits and pieces from watching other performances and put it into this show. It’s a theatrical tradition that is being lived out right in front of your eyes.”
Aside from Scrooge’s personality transformation, Bradford is also challenged by the month-long tour. The show started in Columbus on Nov. 27. “Carol” played in Missouri, Kentucky and Ohio in the past week, including six shows over four days from last Thursday until Sunday.
“I certainly don’t ever get bored,’’ Bradford said. “Every time we get to a new venue we scope it out to see how we’re going to do certain things. I have to take each moment as a second at a time. The off-stage part is a test of endurance. What really keeps us going is by the end of the show, we feel what the audience is feeling.”
Bradford knows people have multiple options with their holiday entertainment dollar. Theatre fans who want to embrace the Christmas spirit and feel as though they’re living in 19th century London will want to visit The Palace.
“If you’re looking to live in a Thomas Kinkade painting or Dickensian London, this is the show,’’ Bradford said. “It’s so rich and full of life. Regardless of your feeling about the holidays, this show will give you something to smile about and you’ll have an amazing time.”
Thursday's show at The Palace begins at 7 p.m. Click here to purchase tickets.