Bruce the Blog Reviews Theater
BY BRUCE APAR
When Bruce The Blog Watches… People Act
Westchester Broadway Theatre
Tim and Scrooge: A Carol for a Later Christmas
Music by Neil Berg
Book and Lyrics by Nick Meglin
Directed by Nick Corley
Musical Direction by Patrick Hoagland
Through Dec. 27, 2015
Tickets > www.BroadwayTheatre.com
Last we left Ebenezer Scrooge — best known for popularizing “Bah! Humbug!” as the anthem of cynics everywhere — the miserly moneylender had a change of heart, warming to the spirit of Christmas, and actually acting charitable toward Bob Cratchit and family, including Tiny Tim.
In the clever and entertaining musical Tim and Scrooge, at Westchester Broadway Theater through Dec. 27, we catch up to both of them a dozen years after Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” ends.
THE SAGA CONTINUES
As the synopsis goes, “Scrooge (Gerge Lee Andrews) has died a changed man and lovingly bequeathed the Scrooge & Marley Counting house to Tim Cratchit (Justin Scott Brown). Tim, while away at university, has fallen in love with a beautiful orphan girl named Allison” (Marissa McGowan).
About to turn 21, Tim on that day will take ownership of the Counting House. But he has a more noble profession in his heart: teaching.
“I find it no coincidence,” says Tim, “that the word numbers begins with numb.”
Idealist that he is, the no-longer-tiny Tim transfers the business to a couple of shady characters. That triggers confrontations that threaten to turn into a calamity. Scrooge wants to help Tim, but his dead partner Jacob Marley hovers to warn Ebenezer that he can interact with the living, but cannot intervene to change their actions.
A CLASSIC STORY CASTS ITS SPELL
This is a sweet, simple production — the stage remains spare with minimal props to shine deserved emphasis on the story, characters and tastefully-staged musical numbers by choreographer Jennifer Paulson Lee and director Nick Corley.
As soon as Scrooge opens the show, he gets into his archetypal spirit with a song titled “Humbug!” Speaking of spirit, he soon is joined by the ghost of Marley. At various points, the pair of apparitions inhabit “A Celestial Environment” that is signified by smoke wafting across the stage.
We are cued that Scrooge now is a good guy by the resplendent all-white outfit he wears. Marley is in white save for a black vest festooned in chains.
The story, by Nick Meglin, who also wrote the lyrics for Neil Berg’s music, is lively, witty and smartly crafted.
By turns lovely and forceful, the songs are done full justice by the heavenly voices throughout the cast, under the musical direction of Patrick Hoagland. WBT productions are know for their showcasing of outstanding vocal chords, which is to say, you won’t find better singing north of Broadway than at Westchester Broadway Theater.
Justin Scott Brown and George Lee Andrews make commanding presences who work well together and lead a uniformly talented ensemble of energetic performers.
Needless to say, all ends well, with the shady duo of Harold Hall (Fred Inkley) & Henry Hastings (Daniel Marcus) coming to realize, “there’s earning in learning” and talk of backing “Ebenezer Scrooge School of Business and Academic Education.”
Come to think of it, that’s not such a Bah!d idea.
Reservations: Call (914)-592-2222. Also at: www.BroadwayTheatre.com
Group Reservations: Discounts for Groups of 20 or More: Call 592-2225.
Luxury Boxes: Call 592-8730, for private parties of 6 to 22. Enjoy dining and theatre in an elegant private box. Additional features include an expanded dinner menu, hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, private powder room, and Luxury Box reserved parking. Additional cost, call for details.
Wednesday, Thursday & some Friday Matinees: Lunch: 11:30 am & Show 1 pm. Thursday, Friday, & Saturday Evenings: Dinner: 6:30 pm & Show: 8 pm.
Sunday Matinees: Lunch: 12 pm & Show: 1:30 pm
Sunday Evenings: Dinner: 5:30 pm & Show: 7 pm.
Ticket Prices Dinner & Show range between $56 and $84 (plus tax) depending on the performances chosen. Beverage Service & Gratuities are not included in the ticket price. Discounts are available for children, students, and senior citizens at selected performances.
Showboat returns Dec. 30–Jan. 31, 2016
Media and marketing specialist Bruce Apar, also known as Bruce The Blog, is Chief Content Officer of Pinpoint Marketing & Design, a Google Partner agency. He also owns APAR All-Media, a Hudson Valley marketing agency. Follow him on Hudson Valley WXYZ on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (914) 275-6887.