ACT launched a new production of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol in 1976, coincidentally the founding year of Seattle Weekly. Our critic William Dunlop then called it largely a vehicle for John Gilbert, one that might be continually revised and readjusted to become an annual event. That was 35 years ago, and the play is still going strong. Like PNBs Nutcracker, its a family favorite and holiday cash cow that helps float the theater for the rest of the year. To be sure, the Gregory Falls adaptation has had tweaks and trims over the decades; and changing times help give new topicality to the play. In Reagans 80s and the booming late 90s, Scrooge was like one of the arrogant tech barons and dot-com millionaires. During todays recession, we can all identify with humble Bob Cratchit, terrified of losing his job. And what about universal health care for Tiny Tim? Opening night, Kurt Beattie returns after a decade to the iconic role of Ebenezer Scrooge, alternating with R. Hamilton Wright; both are credited as the shows co-directors. BRIAN MILLER Previews Nov. 27-28, opens Nov. 29. Ends Dec. 27.