Show History



A Christmas Carol, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and a book by Mike Ockrent and Lynn Ahrens, is an adaptation of Charles Dickens' novella of the same name, considered a classic Christmas story. The creators were drawn together by the desire to make a show that could appeal to children who had never or rarely experienced live theatre. Ockrent in particular was inspired by the "Pantomimes" that he would attend as a young child every holiday season in North London. As Ockrent says in his original director's note, "I hope that kids and families will experience the same thrill I had all those years ago of enjoying the show and the wonderful reminder that nothing need remain the same, that within us all we have the capacity to share, communicate and love each other.


A Christmas Carol first hit the Broadway stage on December 1, 1994, at the Paramount Theatre at Madison Square Garden, originally choreographed by Susan Stroman. It was then performed in a limited engagement every December from 1994 to 2003. In 2004, the musical was adapted for television in a production produced by Hallmark Entertainment. The television special features performances from such talents as Kelsey Grammar, Jason Alexander, Jesse L. Martin and Jennifer Love Hewitt. The musical received its UK premiere at the Tabard Theatre in London, running from December 6, 2013, to January 5, 2014.

Cultural Influence

  • A Christmas Carol ran for eleven straight holiday seasons, the only major show to run for so long by strictly being a holiday engagement. This has helped pave the way for theaters to put up annual holiday musicals such as A Christmas Story and Elf The Musical.


  • The original Broadway production received Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for Best Musical.
  • Several notable men have come into the role of Ebeneezer Scrooge over the years, including: F. Murray Abraham, Tim Curry, Tony Randall, Frank Langella, Tony Roberts, Jim Dale, Roger Daltrey and Roddy McDowall in his final role on Broadway.
  • Kelsey Grammer, who plays Scrooge in the Menken/Ahrens A Christmas Carol on NBC in 2004, was in a workshop production of Sunday in the Park with George when he read for the guest role of Frasier Crane in "Cheers."