Second Thought: A Hanover tip-of-the-hat

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Worcester’s phenomenal “A Christmas Carol” production changes a bit every year. One thing added to the Hanover Theatre’s show this year was an autism-friendly performance.

That evening last Tuesday night proved to be audience-friendly and warmly appreciated, ending in a standing ovation from the 800-plus crowd.

The show featured its usual musical and special-effects splendor, only dialing down the use of fog and startling noises. The performance featured plenty of helpful staff on hand, an hour-earlier start time of 6 p.m., a pre-show to introduce some characters, and houselights lowered but left on.

What the audience members brought to the autism-friendly environment was extra politeness and consideration, with the understanding that it was an extraordinary night out for some among them.

Well, the audience was enthralled, all left uplifted and delighted, and next year we are seeking out the autism-friendly night of “A Christmas Carol.” The show — which is special every time under director Troy Siebels’ touch — was even more of a treat for the open arms it extended to people with disabilities.

Everyone loves Charles Dickens’ story of effusive Christmas spirit, a tale that hinges on Ebenezer Scrooge’s altered old heart. This season, and last Tuesday in particular, the Hanover has done another good turn for the community.

The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts’ 8th annual run of “A Christmas Carol” concludes today with a show at 1 p.m.

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