By Jessica Johnson
It’s Christmas? Then I haven’t missed it! And Scrooge: A Christmas Carol at Beverly’s Terrace Plaza Playhouse is something you don’t want to miss. The production is based on the musical Scrooge and includes many original songs written by Beverly Olson, the founder of the Plaza Playhouse. In speaking with Jacci Florence, the director and daughter of Beverly, the play has evolved over the years. And after 26 years, it is a very family friendly production. Many of the cast star along with their children. Many parts were added to involve more of the community. There are literally over 100 people in this production between 2 casts. There is a Holly Cast and an Ivy Cast. I saw the Ivy Cast.
Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Mark Daniels, is a very whimsical character. Most Scrooges are dark and foreboding, but Mark is very bright and almost cheerful. You wanted to hate him, but you don’t have the heart. He is first visited by Jacob Marley, played by Ken Hadlock. Marley has always been my favorite character in any production of Christmas Carol. Hadlock lived up to his predecessors and almost stole the show. He warned Scrooge with loving kindness and just the right amount of fear. Change your ways now, or you will end up like him.
Marley warns Scrooge that he will be visited by 3 spirits, played by Sherri Folkman (Past), Doug Peterson (Present), and Colton Lynch (Future). The Ghost of Christmas past shows Ebenezer in happier times with his sister Fanny (Brenna Pickett). They also visit his love affair with Isabelle Fezziwig (Sydney Orton). Ebenezer is shown to be a joyful man, who evolves into the miser we have all grown to love or hate. His love for money outshines the love for Isabelle and leaves to find another love. Christmas Present shows Ebenezer what will happen the next day with his employee Bob Cratchit (Ken Morley) and the Cratchit family. They haphazardly toast Scrooge as the provider of the Feast. The scanty meal and meager presents are the first sign in a change of heart for Scrooge. Feeble Tiny Tim (Gavin Shreve) is the catalyst for this. The Cratchits are happy to be together and count their Christmas blessings. Ghost Present also shows the dinner party of Scrooge’s ever joyful nephew Fred (Brent Taft). The Ghost of Christmas Future shows Scrooge the fate of Tiny Tim and his ultimate demise. Scrooge’s death is celebrated by The Ladies of the Afternoon, who gleefully divide his many possessions among themselves. These ladies sing with merriment at the passing of poor, pathetic Mr. Scrooge. This ghost doesn’t say a word, and towers over the cast in a long flowing robe. All three ghosts are captivating and accomplished the ultimate change of heart for Scrooge.
One thing you can count on with the Plaza is wonderful costumes, by Cindy Simmons. The colors and textures are spectacular. This is the second production that I have seen in this theatre. I was blown away by the costumes for Jekyll and Hyde, as well as Scrooge. Bright colors splash across the stage, as well as a nine-foot Ghost of Christmas Future. Christmas lights are incorporated into some of the outfits. They are a light in the darkness surrounding Scrooge. The set pays homage to Sweeney Todd and Oliver with their names used for streets and buildings.
During the production, you almost forget that you are seeing a play. The dance numbers are next to professional. From dancing chimney sweeps, tiny ballerinas, and grave diggers, they don’t disappoint. Choreographers SheNae Littlewood and Director Florence paint a wonderful picture on the stage. Lindsey Poll and dance captains Austin Burt and Chad Lynch and Tani Lynch assist with the beautiful and haunting dance numbers. Get your shovel ready to see the singing and dancing grave diggers who provide a dark element to an otherwise bright production. As someone who has watched countless hours of dancing, I was very impressed.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself at Terrace Plaza Playhouse’s Scrooge: A Christmas Carol and will be returning or possibly auditioning for future productions. I highly recommend Terrace Plaza Playhouse’s Scrooge: A Christmas Carol as part of your holiday celebrations. Among all the Christmas Carols going up in Utah, this is one you do not want to miss.
Beverly’s Terrace Plaza Playhouse presents Scrooge: A Christmas Carol by Beverly Olsen
Beverly’s Terrace Plaza Playhouse, 99 East 4700 South Washington Terrace, Utah 84405
December 4, 8-9, 11, 14-16, 18-19, 20-23
Terrace Plaza Playhouse Facebook Page