A new twist on a Christmas classic, now playing at Burien Actors Theatre
While Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” was first published in 1843, the story and its message are as relevant today as ever.
Scrooge’s redemption and journey to kindness and compassion in the face of greed and economic inequality is just as appropriate of an allegory these days as it must have been when its author first penned the tale.
In “The Christmas Carol Rag” by Norman Allen, a musical comedy currently on stage at the Burien Actors Theatre, the message is the same – but the details are slightly changed.
For instance, instead of taking place in London during the days of the industrial revolution, this version of the Christmas Carol is set in New York, in the time of ragtime.
Instead of featuring a bitter old man, the play centers on the story of Evelyn Scrooge, played by Cara Hazzard, who runs a sweatshop without a single care for her workers or her family.
The Ghost of Christmas Past, played by Jessica Robins, surprises Scrooge by being Jewish and using a hefty amount of Yiddish.
And the Ghost of Christmas Present in this reimagined classic, played by Angelica Barksdale, sings gospel.
Regardless of the gender of story’s central miser and the quirkiness of the ghosts, the takeaway is no different. Scrooge has to reexamine her choices and move into a brighter future – one where she gets into the Christmas spirit instead of foregoing the holiday to spend more time at the office.
And that’s a message worth considering this holiday season.
Stage director Calen P. Winn noted in the program: “This script was updated in a time in American history that mirrors our own in so many ways. By no means does this version ignore or dishonor its source material, rather, it makes the issues of social inequality that Dickens wrote about more modern, and more specifically relevant to our world.”
Burien Actors Theatre is presenting the Northwest premier for “The Christmas Carol Rag.” Performances are at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays through Sunday, Dec. 17.
Ticket prices range from $7 to $20. Student tickets are $10. Burien Actors Theatre is located at 14501 4th Ave. SW.
The soundtrack to the show features musical arrangements by Howard Breitbart, performed by music director Elizabeth Bender on piano.
The cast also includes Rochelle Flynn as Gladys, Janet Marley and a partygoer, Hannah Rockel as Anne Cratchit and young Evelyn Scrooge, Jaron Boggs as Bob Cratchit and young Bob Cratchit, Max Lopuszynski as Fred and Tim, Rosemary Herold as Sylvia and a partygoer and Kevin Finney as Bobby and Fezziwig.
Lisa Harringon serves as stage manager. Gayle Staker created the choreography, while Albie Clementi designed the set. Rob Falk handled the lighting, Cyndi Baumgardner designed props and Tucker O’Conner created the costumes. Eric Dickman was in charge of sound.
For tickets and more information, visit www.burienactorstheatre.org or call 206-242-5180.
I can't wait to see this show. BAT always puts on great performances and always with a twist. There are always two special cocktails that relate to the show's storyline. Yum!
Enjoy a holiday turkey without having to cook one.