|David Olson as Scrooge.|
Playwright: Ken Jones
Company: Black Box Theatre Company
Venue: Black Box Theatre, 1267 Pecan Street, Colorado Springs, CO.
Running Time: 1 hour 40 minutes (includes 15 minute intermission)
Date of Performance: Wednesday, December 16, 2015.
This Christmas season brought a bounty of beautiful Christmas shows to Colorado Springs. From Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the Fine Arts Center, to Stocking Stuffers at the Springs Ensemble Theater, and to A Tuna Christmas at the MAT, the holidays have an abundance of theatrical excellence to choose from.
Now add to that list of outstanding shows Scrooge’s Christmas, A Christmas Carol (Scrooge’s Christmas hereafter) at the Black Box Theatre through December 23. It’s an adaptation of Charles Dicken’s Christmas classic, sprinkled with an assortment of familiar a capella Christmas carols.
Scrooge’s Christmas is a delight, from David Olson’s animated and accurate portrayal of Scrooge to Nicholas Young’s exquisite Tiny Tim. Olson has the gravitas and the acting chops to deliver a stingy, cantankerous Scrooge, a scary Scrooge, and a transformed Scrooge in all his glory. Young (and he is VERY young at just 5 years old) sometimes goes off on a tangent, but he’s cute beyond belief. He bears a striking resemblance to Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) of the 1983 film A Christmas Story, but without the Red Ryder bb gun. Young probably doesn’t know it, but he’s the center of attention every time he’s on stage.
|Peter Billingsley in "A Christmas Story." Photo credit: AmericanTreasureTour.com|
Nicholas Young, though, is not the “youngest” member of the cast; that honor would go to Morgan Young (“Want”) and Christopher Rockel (“Ignorance”). When that pair shows up in what resembles Dickensian rags and zombie makeup (by Hailey Novick), the audience audibly gasps. Neither has a line, but neither will be soon forgotten by anyone who saw the show.
Timothy Phillips is an effective Bob Cratchit, downtrodden and passive when confronted by his curmudgeon boss. Catherine Cotton is Mrs. Cratchit, and she gets in the best lines about the worst boss in the world.
The entire cast does a cappella versions of some of your (well, mine at least) favorite Christmas carols (‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “Joy to the World,” etc). Don’t be afraid to sing along; the lyrics are in your program. The best of the bunch, though, is Jason Lopez’ solo on “O Holy Night.” He has the voice to carry the song by himself, and it’s a special moment in the show.
Director Daniel Robbins flawlessly wrangles a huge cast on a tiny stage. The entries and exits are seamless, even with the ladies wearing hoop skirts that require extra space and precise maneuvering. Robbins has the group well prepared for the audience; I did not detect any dropped lines or miscues. Kitty Robbins did the lights and sound, including a realistic thunderstorm. Robbins turned up the tension for the Christmas ghosts, making Marley sound as if he was actually speaking from beyond the grave.
Scrooge’s Christmas is a welcome addition to the holiday theater scene. It’s traditional. It’s entertaining. And best of all, it’s family entertainment for all ages at a reasonable price. Tickets are only $12.00, but if you’re military, student or senior, you get a discount Only $8.00 for you. Scrooge’s Christmas would be a bargain at twice the price. It’s that good.
|Cast of "Scrooge's Christmas, A Christmas Carol."|
Pre/Post Show Dining Recommendation:
Colorado Mountain Brewery at 600 S. 21st Street is literally just 5 minutes from the theater, and serves an array of interesting dishes (venison eggrolls and bison poppers, for example) that push the pub food limits. You also get a super selection of their craft beers.
Expect to spend about $20.00 per person for a beer and an entrée.
Scrooge’s Christmas is appropriate for all ages.
There is free parking on Pecan Street. There will cider for all after the performance.
This show closes on December 23, 2015.
Director: Daniel S. Robbins
Stage Manager: Candi Martynes
Producer: Nancy Holaday
Technical Director: Alex Robbins
Lighting and Scene Design: Kitty Robbins
Props Mistress: Katherine Larson
Makeup Design: Hailey Novick
Choreographer: Athena Baschal
Turkey Boy: Jaden Cotton
Nephew, Young Scrooge, Joe: Kiffen Irwin
Ghost of Christmas Future: Ashley Kalfas
Fan, Belinda Cratchit: Katherine Larson
Townsperson: Jonathon Liller
Belle, Martha Cratchit, Nasty Woman #2: Kayla Liller
Mrs. Fezziwig, Mrs. Cratchit, Nasty Woman #1: Catherine McGuire
Bob Cratchit: Timothy Philips
Scrooge: David Olson
Belle’s daughter: Arianna Rockel
Niece, Mrs. Haversham: Suzanne Seyfi
Gentleman #1, Jacob Marley, Mr. Fezziwig: James Singleton
Gentleman #2, Belle’s husband, Ghost of Christmas Present, Mr. Haversham: Steve Sladaritz
Dick Wilkins, Peter Cratchit: Grant Spengler
Ghost of Christmas Past: Riley Triggs
Boy Scrooge, Tiny Tim: Nicholas Young
Want: Morgan Young
Ignorance: Christopher Rockel
Balladeer (“O Holy Night”): Jason Lopez
Live music performed by: Ashley Tracy, Kitty Robbins, and Jeannie Robbins