About the Play: “Scrooge!”
When we think of the Holiday Season, we think of the joy that it brings. We think of how it is a season where people around the world are inspired to do generous acts for absolute strangers. We think about family and how we drop our normal routines to make space for them. We think about how it has the power to bring a moment of peace amidst the turbulence of our busy lives. And yet, all that Christmas, Hannukah, Yule, and Kwanza stand for – goodwill, family, peace – Ebenezer Scrooge would gladly take a seat for. That is until he is whisked away on an adventure through time and space.
Cemented in a routine of debt collecting with an eye single to the glory of money, Scrooge invariably seeks to serve only himself – never daring to waste a moment sympathizing with the poor who surround him.
After a long day of harvesting his money crops, Scrooge returns home to find shadows of his deceased partner, Jacob Marley, throughout his home. Convinced his imagination has gotten the better of him, he continues to deny the scenes. Yet, as more appearances follow, accompanied by a ghostly wind and shadowy figures on the walls, the miser is eventually forced to face the phantom of his former business partner.
Chained down by cashboxes, ledgers, heavy purses and more, Marley’s menacing figure comes as a warning and somehow a message of hope. He foreshadows what is to become of Scrooge in his current course of action unless he gives ear to the spirits still ahead.
What follows is a magical journey through chapters of Scrooge’s life. Each one chipping away at the ice that has frozen around his once joyful heart. He takes time to cherish his childhood memories. Remembering what it felt like to dance, be in love, and enjoy Christmas. The visit to his past causes him to yearn for a chance to go back and perhaps do things a little differently.
A distant look at his present helps him realize the reach of his selfish actions. And if those trips didn’t convince him to repent, the last would. The grim vision of Tiny Tim’s impending death and his own downfall convince him of a critical transformation.
At the drop of a hat, Scrooge is a new man. He jumps on the chance to change. Like a Victorian Oprah, he hands out gifts and generous amounts of money. All debts are forgiven, all grudges forgotten. And the chains that were once promised him? Withdrawn. Christmas is once again joyful, merry, and bright.
This classic Dickens tale, first introduced to the world in 1843, is met with the creative artistry of Oscar and Grammy Award-winning composer Leslie Bricusse, who also penned songs for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in addition to dozens of award-winning songs. Bricusse elaborates on the foundation of Dickens’ words with music to complement the complex emotions of Scrooge. What makes this version of Scrooge! unique, however, is the addition of new songs and adaptations by Matt August. With familiar notes of holiday hymns coupled with thematic pieces to give you chills, this is truly Scrooge as you’ve never seen him before.
The haze of yesterday, the bluntness of today, and the doom of tomorrow are stark images from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol that shake Ebenezer Scrooge to his core and invigorate him to a change of heart. Each Holiday Season, we are inspired to reflect on how the choices we make have the power and potential to change lives beyond our own. This Holiday Season, Arizona Theatre Company is bringing that same heart to life again on the stage.
There’s a reason this time-honored story continues to pop up throughout the Holiday Season. We’re delighted you have joined us to find out why.