Dickens performance draws big crowd to Albion church

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 November 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

Charlie Nesbitt, a member of the church and event chairman, welcomes a big crowd to the event featuring Mike Randall.

ALBION – About 300 people attended a solo performance starring Mike Randall, the Buffalo weatherman, tonight at the First Presbyterian Church in Albion.

Randall portrayed Charles Dickens in telling his classic story, “A Christmas Carol.” Randall was impressive in the performance, mixing many different voices to tell the story.

Randall has performed the Dickens’ show about 100 times since 2007. He also portrays Mark Twain and has done that show about 2,000 times. Before he started a career in television, Randall worked as an actor.

He became intrigued about Dickens, who was a Twain contemporary, in his research about Twain. Randall read about Dickens and his American Reading Tour from 1867-1868, which included a stop in Buffalo. Dickens drew big crowds to his events.

Dickens didn’t merely read the stories. He acted out the parts, Randall said.

“Charles Dickens was like a rock star,” Randall said after the performance in Albion tonight.

The performance served as a fund-raiser for the church, benefitting its youth programs and other outreach efforts.