Newtown Arts Company is wrapping up their 31st season with SCROOGE: THE MUSICAL – a musical interpretation of Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol”. Mary Liz Ivins’ SCROOGE is a fun and light-hearted romp that the whole family can see during the holidays.
The set was designed efficiently (George Pickering) to prevent long scene changes and was very well painted with colors that popped on stage. Lighting and Sound (Travis Johnson) were both well done, with a few minor hiccups on the lighting side. The music (Mike Dettra) was beautifully played, but the performers on stage seemed confused as to when to come in on quite a few of their songs. Costumes (Lisa Resier) were simple but for the most part worked very well.
Individual stand out performances can be cited throughout:
Stuart Myles (Ebeneezer Scrooge) was wonderful to watch (though he seemed noticeably too young for the role). Myles is a strong actor, and he shined beautifully in the end as the “drunk on the goodness of life” titular SCROOGE.
Scott Fegley (Tom Jenkins/Jacob Marley) had a spotty accent, but he showed a lot of expression on his face even when not speaking. Fegley also danced very well and with enthusiasm. Anne McKernan (Christmas Past) was hilarious as the spirit of yesteryear and really put some emotional weight into her words. John Wolodzko (Christmas Present) made great use of his booming voice and towering height, and standing next to the shorter phantoms made him seem even larger. Jack McKernan (Christmas Yet-to-come) was more then sufficiently creepy as the growling darker spirit.
The Cratchit family were all standouts for their abilities to emote with Nicholas Epps as an adorable Tiny Tim.
While DJ Holcombe (Nephew) was a stand out performer he seemed too old opposite Myles’ Scrooge and opposite Jessica Mousley (Helen, his wife) which actually was off-putting as a member of the audience. This is a comment more on casting choices versus actors’ abilities.
Other great actors, dancers and singers were: Sarah Cohn, Viva Connor, Jill Laurinaitis, Arli Necowitz, Zoe Necowitz, and Bill Sismour, who all shone in their interactions on stage.
The women in the show all did a spectacular job, especially Sarah Cohn, who had a refreshingly beautiful soprano voice.
The cast needed to be better aware of sight lines (and cues), as on multiple occasions I could see arms coming from behind props before I was supposed to, or running on stage after a scene started because they were late.
SCROOGE: THE MUSICAL is a fun Christmas romp that the entire family is sure to enjoy this time of year. If you don’t find it uplifting then you just may be a bit of SCROOGE yourself!
SCROOGE: THE MUSICAL
by Leslie Bricusse
Directed by Mary Liz Ivins
Produced by Marcia Wittmann
December 4-10, 2014
Newtown Arts Company
120 N. State Street
Newtown, PA 18940