“Ebenezer Scrooge’s Big Playhouse Christmas Show!”

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Sarah Manton, Tina Stafford, William Youmans, James Ludwig, James David Larson
Sarah Manton, Tina Stafford, William Youmans, James Ludwig, James David Larson. Photos by Margaryta Kenis

A screwball version of A Christmas Carol set in New Hope

William Youmans as Ebenezer Scrooge
William Youmans as Ebenezer Scrooge photos by Margaryta Kenis

The Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, PA, closes out their 2019 season by presenting the sixth edition of Ebenezer Scrooge’s Big Playhouse Christmas Show! This reworking of the classic Dickens story by playwrights Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen is set in 19th century New Hope.

Local tycoon Ebenezer Scrooge is a heartless tightwad, terrorizing his clerk Bob Cratchit and the other citizens of the town. He is visited by the spirits of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come (an unseen presence brought to life by a chorus of voices). Reformed by his experiences, Scrooge becomes a benefactor to the entire town.

The show relies on the audience’s familiarity with New Hope locations and businesses. It is loaded with broad comedy, both verbal and physical, staged for laughs by playwright Greenberg. It’s played out on Michael Carnahan’s warehouse set, which converts to the Cratchit house, Scrooge’s bedroom, and the many other locations required with the help of lighting designer Travis McHale and sound designer Bart Fasbender. The five-person cast is led by Matthew Greer’s Scrooge, making a believably reluctant, subtle transformation from grouchy miser to huge-hearted lover of life. The other four cast members handle all the remaining roles with skill and joyous verve, and they all deserve mention: Jenelle Chu, Maggie Hollinbeck, Ian Lowe, and James Ludwig.

William Youmans and James Ludwig
(l to r) William Youmans and James Ludwig photos by Margaryta Kenis

Ebenezer Scrooge’s Big Playhouse Christmas Show!, infuses the old story with local character, and plenty of affection for its characters and its audience. It’s a show with heart and merriment, a perfect gift to give yourself and your loved ones of all ages. And it’s a show you should see for a totally enjoyable winter’s entertainment.

Bundle yourself up and make the trip to New Hope’s Bucks County Playhouse to spend an enjoyable time at Ebenezer Scrooge’s Big Playhouse Christmas Show!

Ebenezer Scrooge’s Big Playhouse Christmas Show!, is presented by the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania, through December 29, 2019. For tickets and information, visit bcptheater.org.