September 29, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Theater Review: Christmas Classic Gets Female Twist: Mrs. Scrooge Perfect Show for Families

Children will love the hour-long Christmas show currently on stage at the Santa Monica Playhouse’s second stage. Based on the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol,” Diane Namm’s “Mrs. Scrooge” is community theatre at its best, a show full of broad comedy and silly bits of slapstick that will have the little ones rolling in the aisles. An interactive, audience participatory snowball fight is just one slice of this seasonal show’s frivolous fun.

Mrs. Scrooge (Heather Stewart) is a spoiled, Los Angeles housewife. She alienates her husband (D. Kevin Kelly), her assistant, Ms. Cratchet (Samantha Whittaker), and pretty much everyone else with whom she comes in contact. Too busy filing her nails, shopping, and complaining about life’s little inconveniences to care about building meaningful relationships, this grumpy girl finds herself alone and snoozing on the couch on Christmas Eve. But there’s an angel (David Burrus Jr.) looking down on Mrs. Scrooge, and he’s about to visit her, bringing along three guests familiar to anyone even remotely acquainted with the Dickens tale. But these ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future aren’t exactly like the ones in the original material. For comic effect, the ghost of Jacob Marley dresses more like the ghost of Bob Marley, and the ghost of Christmas Present (Anthony Kalatzis) is a goofy teenager who wants to dance and play. More serious moments occur when Mrs. Scrooge is visited by her deceased father (Elias McCabe) and when she gets a glimpse into the unfortunate circumstances of Ms. Cratchet’s life.

Though the basic story is familiar, it borrows a bit from another Christmas favorite, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The goal of the angel in Mrs. Scrooge is to get his wings, much like the goal of the beloved Clarence in the Frank Capra Christmas chestnut. And he has to report to a tough-as-nails head angel (Jaimyon Parker), who won’t let him earn flying rights until he turns a rotten person into a caring one. The blending of stories works here, mostly because it’s all about making kids laugh while teaching them a lesson or two about kindness, perseverance, and the rewards of good behavior. In fact, Namm’s theatre company, West of Broadway, was founded with the mission of promoting literacy and social responsibility through interactive theatre for children of all ages. With this show, that mission is definitely accomplished.

On top of the doling out of important lessons for children, the show is also entertaining. Stewart seems to revel in her character’s complete inability to care about anyone but herself. Her comic timing and kid-friendly approach to the material are a service to the show. She isn’t afraid to ask the audience questions and make spontaneous replies to unexpected audience quips.

My favorite part of “Mrs. Scrooge” was watching the sea of happy faces on the dozen or so children in the audience the night I attended. It’s a nice holiday gift to see young people having fun at the theatre.

For tickets, visit www.westofbroadway.org.

in News
Related Posts

City Of Santa Monica Being Sued Over Proposed Plaza Project: Santa Monica Beat – September, 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Santa Monica Being Sued Over Proposed Plaza Project. * LA Street...

Santa Monica Police Make Additional Arrests in Looting of REI

September 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

Marques Miles and Misty Jones arrested by Santa Monica Police Department Santa Monica police recently made additional arrests of two...

OpEd: The Miramar Project Will Be a New Architectural Jewel

September 27, 2020

September 27, 2020

The Miramar Hotel has been a central part of Santa Monica’s history and an integral part of the community for...

Edify TV: Trident Center Redevelopment

September 25, 2020

September 25, 2020

The Westside’s Trident Center is getting a major overhaul and new name as part of a flurry of development in...

Miramar Project to go Before City Council Tuesday

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

Councilmember Gleam Davis asks City Attorney whether she should rescue self from vote  By Sam Catanzaro  Santa Monica lawmakers will...

SMa.r.t. Column: Needed, A Heart Transplant

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

We have written about adaptive reuse in previous columns and have postulated that with proper incentives, the existing one, two...

Edify TV: Boulders Blocking Westside Encampment

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

City officials recently removed boulders placed on sidewalks by some Westside residents to prevent the formation of a homeless encampment....

Should Council Member Davis Recuse Herself From Voting? Santa Monica Beat – September, 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Should Council Member Davis Recuse Herself From Voting? * Increases In...

SMC to Be Online for Winter and Spring 2021

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

College cites lack of available vaccine  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica College (SMC) has announced it will be delivering classes...

Edify TV: Al Fresco Program Ending?

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

During a COVID-19 pandemic many restaurants have found aid through the City of Los Angeles’ Al Fresco dining program, but...

Local Breweries Say They Have Been Unfairly Shuttered as County Passes Grant Program

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

$10 million grant program approved by Board of Supervisors  By Sam Catanzaro Will a $10 million grant program be enough...

Santa Monica Loses Vegan Restaurant

September 23, 2020

September 23, 2020

Space housing Santa Monica vegan restaurant Viva Vegan up for lease By Sam Catanzaro A vegan restaurant in Santa Monica...

Risks Posed by Wildfire Smoke

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

UCLA pulmonologist on how people can tell if the wildfires are making them sick By Toi Creel Even if you...

Will Los Angeles County See Another Spike in COVID-19 Cases?

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

County health officials keeping close eye on data this week By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health officials are monitoring...

Edify TV: Santa Monica Fire Department Fighting Blazes Across State

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

The Santa Monica Fire Department has been busy helping combat wildfires burning throughout the state. Learn more in this video...