Kevin Daly wasn't about to stand by and let a producer's financial problems ruin Christmas for Baltimore theatergoers.
When Mr. Daly learned yesterday that a scheduled Baltimore production of "A Christmas Carol" had been canceled because the producer didn't pay for the auditorium, he offered a bit of Christmas spirit.
The executive director of the Children's Theatre Association is inviting all those who have tickets for "A Christmas Carol" to come to his company's performance of "The Nutcracker, A Play."
"We were very disturbed that a producer would do such an unseemly scam, particularly with a Christmas play," Mr. Daly said.
A celebrity cast was to have performed the Charles Dickens Christmas classic this month on the Homewood campus of the Johns Hopkins University. But the university canceled the show after California producer Kevin Von Feldt did not pay the $7,800 auditorium rental fee.
Mr. Daly called The Sun to say that anyone holding tickets for the canceled play may attend one of the four performances of his play at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The shows are scheduled Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 11, Dec. 17, and Dec. 18 at 3 p.m.
"The Nutcracker, A Play," is a theatrical adaptation of the classic holiday ballet. The 25-member cast features children and professional adult actors.
Mr. Daly said he was suspicious when he saw an advertisement for Mr. Von Feldt's production of "A Christmas Carol" that promised narration by Sir John Gielgud.
"I was a little perplexed when I saw that among those appearing was Sir John Gielgud, who is rather infirm at this point," Mr. Daly said.
"A Christmas Carol" was to be performed Dec. 12-14. Seats were advertised for $35 with a 50 percent discount for senior citizens.
Johns Hopkins spokesman Dennis O'Shea said the university does not know how many tickets had been sold.
Authorities said Mr. Von Feldt has attempted to mount productions of "A Christmas Carol" in other cities since 1989, only to back out because of financial difficulties.
The play was staged for the first time in a California production last month. Mr. Von Feldt could not be reached Friday or yesterday for comment. For ticket information about "The Nutcracker, A Play," call 225-0052 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.