In late 2007, local weatherman, actor and veteran Mark Twain impersonator Mike Randall took a break from his white wig, white mustache and white three-piece suit and replaced them with a bushy goatee, frazzled dark hair and 19th-century garb, finishing the ensemble with a bright red carnation.
Randall's transformation from the crotchety Twain to the only slightly less world-weary Charles Dickens was complete and convincing, as was the debut of his reading of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" in MusicalFare Theatre that year.
Since then, Randall has been honing his Dickens impression (as well as the voices of 22 other characters, from Scrooge to Tiny Tim) in venues across Western New York. Randall will present his engaging reading of the story at 7:30 tonight and Saturday in Buffalo East (1410 Main St.), the home of the event's presenter, the American Repertory Theatre of Western New York.
The pared-down presentation, meant to mimic Dickens' reading tours (one of which took him to Buffalo in 1868), costs $15. Call 634-1105 or visit www.artofwny.com.
-- Colin Dabkowski