Some traditions sneak up on you. Consider Venice Theatre’s original version of “A Christmas Carol,” which is back for the 14th year.
No one had any idea that it would become such an enduring production when it premiered 14 years ago. The show “is one of my favorite things to do each season,” said director Murray Chase, who is staging the musical for the 12th time. “Young people return each year playing new roles as they get older. College students plan their Christmas breaks around the show.”
The Venice version features a score by the late E. Suzan Ott and lyrics and additional music by Sarasota director, teacher and writer Scott Keys. The production has been tweaked over the years, but it has also developed traditions of its own. In addition to Chase, Eric Watters is back for the 12th time as Ebenezer Scrooge and musical director Michelle Kasanofsky also hits the dozen mark this year, leading a cast of 51 performers.
Performances are at 7 p.m. Dec. 19-22 at Venice Theatre, 140 W. Tampa Ave., Venice. Tickets are $17, $10 for students. For more information: 488-1115; venicestage.com
The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall also has its own tradition of presenting a touring production of the Charles Dickens favorite. This year’s version will be presented at 7 p.m. Dec. 22 at the hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets are $35-$55. 953-3368; vanwezel.org.