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Haint of Christmas present

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With character names like Bubbaneezer Scrooge and Tiny Timbo Cratchit, ART Station's A Christmas Carol -- Southern Style prepares you for a white (trash) Christmas romp through trailer parks and countrified cliches. The surprising thing is how closely the show hews to Charles Dickens' original story.

David Thomas and Nancy Knight set their version in Atlanta in 1890, with more or less Victorian costumes and at times a scene-by-scene identical plot, only with Southern drawls instead of Cockney accents. Scrooge is the same hateful miser he ever was, though here he's a Peachtree Street banker who exclaims "Bunk!" instead of "Bah Humbug!" and Hudson Adams makes him more young and spry than usual.

On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by four "haints," all played with campy, crowd-pleasing relish by Daniel Burnley. The Haint of Christmas Past is a veiled old lady with a Minnie Pearl voice that squeaks, "You want some fried chicken?" between visions of the past.

A Christmas Carol -- Southern Style makes a few odd choices, like having an actress cross-dress as the young Bubbaneezer. But Thomas and Knight offer a droll scene with Scrooge haggling at a restaurant over the price of the free butter on his cornbread, and the play is reasonably fast paced and efficient. With the Scrooge story so familiar, it may have been interesting had ART Station taken a few more liberties with it, but by keeping the Southern stereotypes to a minimum the theater offers its own Christmas gift.

A Christmas Carol-- Southern Style plays through Dec. 23 at ART Station, 5384 Manor Drive, Stone Mountain, Wed.-Sat. at 8 p.m. and Sun. 3 p.m. $16-22. 770-469-1105. www.artstation.org.

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