When we were kids, my Uncle Sam used to tell us if we weren’t careful, we’d learn something new every day. The new thing I learned one day this past summer, on a day before there was snow on the ground and the temperature began to drop steadily and the sky clouded over for what seemed like forever, is that A Christmas Carol was made into a musical: Scrooge The Musical. Now you know, too. On this lovely summer day of which I speak, a small group of dedicated Auburn Players members asked to get together to talk about staging a co-production between Auburn Players Community Theatre, Auburn Public Theater and Harlequin Productions – Scrooge The Musical. Their pitch was that it would be a gift to the community, a show we could stage together year after year after year thereby gifting the community year after year after year. They had me at “gift to the community”.
Scrooge The Musical is closely based on the film and Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol; it follows the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge who undergoes profound reflection on Christmas Eve Night with the help of the ghost of his former partner, Jacob Marley, and the ghost of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future. My very first memories of the story itself are entirely mixed up between the 1971 animated version narrated by Sir Michael Redgrave, the 1951 version starring Alastair Sim and the 1979 Looney Tunes cartoon version starring Bugs Bunny & Friends. This last version tells the story in less than nine minutes.
No matter the confusion between versions, one thing has always been crystal clear for me and that is the story’s central message. Salvation, as evidenced by Scrooge’s good works and his state of blissful serenity at the end, is attained by traveling the path from sinfulness to regret to repentance. “Looking for salvation?” the story asks. Well, now you know what road to take to get there. As a young child, mostly because of a fear of ghosts appearing unexpectedly in my bedroom late at night (an idea perhaps emphasized by watching A Christmas Carol!) – What child doesn’t suffer some form of this?! – I reasoned I could go right to the part about doing good deeds and thereby skip the scary parts entirely. Ah, the magical thinking of children…
Over the years, we have all watched countless versions of this timeless tale whether live in a theater, at a movie theater or on television (read various personal devices here, too, please). Personally, I can hardly wait to add this latest version performed by Auburn Players Community Theater and presented by Auburn Players Community Theater, Auburn Public Theater and Harlequin Productions to my own personal collection of experiences of this universal story.
Get your tickets for what’s sure to become an Auburn tradition by clicking HERE.