Currently I am in rehearsals for Ebenezer Scrooge, a musical based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I am playing two parts in this show: Bob Cratchit and Mr. Fezziwig — two completely different characters, both equally fun to play. This will be the 27th consecutive holiday season the Pocket Sandwich Theatre has hosted this highly successful production. Having lived with the show over the last month, I can understand why it has become a holiday staple in the Dallas market.
This adaptation is one of the most charming musicals I’ve encountered. Every tune is catchy, which explains why you’ll catch me obliviously humming the score if you run into me on the street. All the important story points are present with dialogue pulled directly from the novel. The darker moments are blended with well-timed comedic relief.
The cast has been one of the most entertaining with whom I have had the pleasure of working. Ranging in age from as young as 8 to as old as — *ahem* — myself, every member brings a youth and exuberance that feeds an atmosphere of creative energy. It is also the largest cast with which I have worked; seeing all of us on stage in the small space is an event unto itself.
I have the pleasure of working with Amy Wells who plays both Mrs. Cratchit and Mrs. Fezziwig (she’s a bit put out that no one seems to know her character’s first name, not even, apparently, Mr. Dickens who never mentions it in the novel). The Cratchit kids are all endearing. The youngest, our Tiny Tim, has taken to affectionately taunting me with her “crutch-fu” skills. And David H.M. Lambert reprises the title role for the 15th time and he truly embodies the character. Working against his Scrooge generates an authenticity that should prove engaging to this year’s audience.
With little more than two weeks to go before we open, it is exciting to see the pieces come together. This weekend, the set used in the current Pocket Sandwich melodrama, Sweeny Todd — Fiend of Fleet Street, comes down and our set goes up which, no doubt, will require some re-blocking next week. The rehearsal process has been a great deal of fun and I look forward to sharing that fun with an audience.
The show opens Friday, November 28 and runs through Tuesday, December 23, 2008. This is Pocket Sandwich Theatre’s most popular show so reservations are strongly recommended if you wish to come (and I hope you will). Food and beverage service is available before all shows. Visit www.pocketsandwich.com for more details or call the box-office at (214) 821-1860.