(Pigeon Forge-WBIR) It could be the most elaborate production of A Christmas Carol ever produced. Dolly Parton makes history with Dollywood's newest Christmas musical.
Dollywood's A Christmas Carol is a holiday dream come true for fans of Tennessee's "Backwoods Barbie". Not only did Dolly write 8 new songs for the 45-minute musical, holographic technology brings the country music star to life on stage as the Ghost of Christmas Past.
Four characters of the large cast, including Dolly, are realistic, life-sized holograms. The futuristic imaging marks a first in theme park history. Holograms have never been used in an on-stage musical at a theme park.
Dolly spent a full day having her hologram filmed in Knoxville for the show.
"It [hologram] was actually filmed at a sound stage in Knoxville, HP Video, to very exacting standards. We used a very high definition camera that was shipped here and it was lit to very specific standards," said Paul Couch, Dollywood's Entertainment Director. "It's 9 projectors, it's several screens, it's operated by five computers."
Aaron Hunt, who plays Scrooge, must keep a close eye on timing.
"It's so fun being caught up in this new technology and being able to see how it translates to this audience," Hunt told WBIR. "There are places where they laugh that I don't expect. There are places where there is an intake of breath and I have to wait for that timing as well because you can see they're mesmerized."
Show times for Dollywood's A Christmas Carol change daily and are posted on the theme park's website. Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas festival runs through January 4, 2014.
Watch WBIR Live at 5 at 4's Stoney Sharp interact with Dolly's hologram in the video above.