Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Scrooge, The Musical"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2005 by Tony Annicone

"Scrooge, The Musical"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The Mansfield Music and Arts Society's current show is an adaptation of the Dickens holiday classic " A Christmas Carol" called "Scrooge, the Musical". This show is based on the 1970 movie version which starred Albert Finney in the title role. A storybook with the title "A Christmas Carol" on it opens to display London buildings and a huge Christmas tree, setting the scene for various snippets of Christmas carols to be sung by the cast which leads into the harmonic splendor of the opening number called "A Christmas Carol" dune in glorious four part harmony. Directors Kelly Warriner and Ken Butler lead a cast of 34 performers in this wonderful musical version mixed with enough joyous and poignant moments to melt the hearts of any skinflint who sees it. The musical director and conductor David Coccia obtains the best sounds from his talented orchestra and cast while choreographers Judee and Courtney Bottomley create magical dance numbers to enthrall audiences of all ages. Moveable sets and gorgeous costumes help create the 1843 atmosphere and a standing ovation is the reward for everyone's hard work on this holiday show.

Ken not only is one of the directors of this show but he also plays the massive role of Scrooge. He and Kelly use the aisles and various entrances of the auditorium to keep the show flowing from start to finish. Although he is only in his 30's, he transforms himself into this old miser of 60 plus years. Ken's speaking and singing voice convey the age of the character and his strong tenor voice soars in his many numbers. Some of them include "No Better Life" as the hard hearted skinflint and again when he decides to change his life in the second act, the hilarious "I Hate People" as the chorus sings "Father Christmas" in counterpoint and the touching duet "You...You" with Kevin Mischley as Young Scrooge where they realize their error in losing their true love, Isabel. Scrooge repents, returns dressed as Santa and doles out many gifts to everyone, learning the true meaning of the day from the visiting spirits.

The four ghosts are played by Jeff Swaebe as Marley, Cindy McCarron as Christmas Past, Debby Rawson as Christmas Present and Jon Warriner as Christmas Future. Jeff is very scary as the dead Marley where he tells him to "Make the Most of the World" and in this version, he reappears in the second act to welcome Scrooge to hell. The stage is awash in red lights as Scrooge's enormous chain is brought to him and is greeted with gales of laughter. Cindy is dressed all in white as leads Scrooge on his trip to his past and as she leaves she confesses she is his dead sister who is trying to get him to change his ways, which brings tears to your eyes. Debby is a hoot as she sings "I Like Life" which shows off her strong singing voice and it also gives the chorus a chance to harmonize the number closing the first act. She delivers many stinging one liners and makes each of them count. Jon is frightening as the ghost but he gets a chance to shine as the jolly old Mr. Fezziwig leading the singing and dancing o "December the 25th" with Diana Kane as Mrs. Fezziwig.

Other standout performers include Kevin Mischley as Young Scrooge and his nephew, Rachael Parkman as Isabel and the nephew's wife, ( They sing a beautiful ballad "Happiness" with Ken and Cindy) Courtney Bottomley as the energetic Mary who leads the nonsense drinking song called "The Minister's Cat", Patrick Murphy who gets to dance up a storm with the entire cast in the show stopping "Thank You Very Much" ( where Judee and Courtney have the cast dancing on Scrooge's casket which is hilarious) and the cute Kyle Burke as Tiny Tim who gets to sing the tear jerking " "The Beautiful Day" which the Cratchit's join in on and the strong singing voice of Lauren Dausch in "Christmas Children". Many wonderful performers too numerous to mention here contributed to the success of this show. So for a joyful look at this well known tale be sure to catch "Scrooge, the Musical".

"Scrooge, The Musical" (10 & 11 December)
MMAS
Mansfield High School, 250 East Street, MANSFIELD MA
1 (508) 243-8824

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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