A classic carol
The classic Charles Dickens tale, “A Christmas Carol,” comes to Kendall Young Library on Tuesday.
From Ebenezer Scrooge to Tiny Tim, veteran Broadway and film actor Duffy Hudson will take on the roles of more than 30 characters for his one-man show. The doors open for the performance at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 6:30 p.m. and no tickets or reservations are necessary.
Without the aid of costumes or props, Hudson brings the cast of characters to life in his 75 minute performance. To do the entire book, Hudson said the performance would last about three hours. He said his shortened version contains much of the story without the long-lasting narrative descriptions the book contains. Hudson said his one-man performance of “A Christmas Carol” was inspired by the author himself.
“Dickens used to tour and do a lot of readings. Making money as an author was much more difficult then even for an author popular at his own time like Dickens,” Hudson said. “So, he would tour Europe and the U.S. and perform his material. That gave me the idea.”
Kendall Young Library Director Angie Martin-Schwarze said she heard of Hudson through his performances of other libraries. He came highly recommended after other performances in Iowa, which also include one-man shows about Edgar Allan Poe, George Burns, Dr. Seuss and Albert Einstein.
For Hudson, he said his success comes from connecting with his audience in each performance. He said getting an audience to trust him and become engaged with a beautiful story like “A Christmas Carol” is how he believes he is successful as an actor.
“If you can get inside the story and be the vessel for the words without adding too much of yourself. if you let the author go where he wants you to go, what happens for me is I end up going on this ride with the audience,” Hudson said. “I’m totally touched and inspired every time I do it because the words are so incredibly beautiful.”
Whether working in a movie, television show, commercial or one-man show, Hudson said by truly connecting with the characters he plays, he is able to bridge that connection with the audience and perform powerful stories.
For Hudson, other challenges in first preparing for “A Christmas Carol,” which he has been performing for years, were largely technical. He had to memorize about 13,000 words and learn to adapt to each of the cast’s voices. While he said that took a lot of work, every work he has been involved with poses similar challenges.
Hudson will also be performing for Webster City Middle School students earlier in the day. He said he recently performed at a High School in California. School performances are rare for him are rare because of their normally busy schedules. Hudson said he was a little nervous performing for the entire student body as older students can be a tough audience.
However, Hudson said the students he performed for were spectacular.
“I think they bought me from the beginning and they took the ride,” Hudson said. “If people can take the ride like these kids did and leave the show with the lesson that Scrooge did, that life is valuable and that our service to our fellow man is really what it’s all about, then I’ve been really successful.”