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The Sooner Theatre gets into the holiday spirit with "Scrooge"

None November 30th, 2010

Scrooge: The Musical
7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday,
2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Through Dec. 12
The Sooner Theatre
101 E. Main, Norman

The Sooner Theatre gets into the holiday spirit with "Scrooge," musical version of the Charles Dickens classic "A Christmas Carol."

As in Dickens' original novella, "Scrooge" tells the story of stingy Ebenezer Scrooge, a man who doesn't like people and can't stand Christmas.One fateful Christmas Eve, he is visited by three ghosts "” from the past, present and future "” who show him the error of his ways. He wakes up on Christmas morning a changed person with a new appreciation for life and his fellow man.

Director Lisa Fox said "Scrooge" holds close to the source material.

"I've been reading it, and I'm amazed how many of the lines are verbatim from the book," she said.

Fox added that all the best-known characters are present: Scrooge, Marley, the three spirits, the nephew, the Fezziwigs and the Cratchit family.

She said helming a previous production of "Scrooge" at Sooner three years ago helped prepare her for the challenges on this run.

"Working with a cast of 40 people always presents logistical problems to overcome," she said, "but overall, putting this show up has been much easier for us. We don't have to reinvent the wheel!"

Reprising his performance of Scrooge from that 2007 production is Tommy Cunningham.

"Tommy has many New York credits and toured as the Phantom for many years before making Oklahoma his home," Fox said.

According to her, this adaptation features a score revamped in 2004 by Leslie Bricusse.

"He took out some of the numbers that didn't fit the period feel of the show. Most of the audience will be familiar with 'A Christmas Carol,' which Disney has borrowed for their theme parks and Christmas TV specials and 'Thank You Very Much,'" she said. "The other songs, although unfamiliar, have some lovely melodies and we have some very talented singers to perform them. This year, staying true to the revised script, we have added a circus feel to the closing of Act 1, which gives a little spectacle to the production."

Fox said that her approach to the show was to stay true to Dickens' intentions.

"It is a slightly frightening story. Scrooge is visited by spirits from the other world," she said. "But, like Charlie the angel in 'It's a Wonderful Life,' their purpose is to transform his pathetic existence into a meaningful life. I think people love to see a character that goes through a metamorphosis, and also it reminds us of what things in life are most important to us: family, good health and laughter." "”Eric Webb
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