THREE OAKS — The River Valley Drama Club will present “ A Seussified Christmas Carol” in the middle/high school auditorium on Saturday, December 7, at 4 and 7 p.m., and on Sunday, December 8, at 4 p.m.
This condensed, comical production is no more than 90 minutes long, including a short intermission. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.
Written by Peter Bloegel, the “Seussified” version of the Charles Dickens classic Christmas story is a treat for theatre-goers of all ages. The familiar Christmas Carol characters will be present to tell the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, the crabby, eccentric miser with a heart of stone.
The pace and dialogue is far from traditional Dickens, however. Cast members communicate totally in true-to-Seuss rhyme.
“The language is more than a century old, and might need some sprucing before it is told. It’s not that old Dickens can’t be understood, but we think some rhyming might make him more good. We’ve trimmed the plot down. A few words got a tweak. It might sound a little like Dr. Seuss speak!”
The banter of the two narrators (Halie York and Kora Kennedy) keeps the production moving briskly along, with their mastery of rhyming sequences.
Senior Halie York enjoys the shared role as a narrator, “Because I really like not having any “down time,” even though I don’t have any time to relax, so it’s just go, go go. And I especially love doing this with Kora.”
York’s narrating pal, played by Kora Kennedy explains that, “I like the opportunity to engage with the audience a lot, and to actually have conversations with them.”
Director, Carrie Ehlert, chose the play because she said it had been a few years since the club presented a Christmas play, and “I wanted it to be a FUN Christmas play!”
The role of the humbug Scrooge belongs to River Valley senior, Cooper Harrington, who commands the stage with Ebenezer’s crabby disposition and overbearing presence.
Harrington says, “Scrooge is a miserly old man who hates everything, everyone and their mother, but deep down has a very loving heart.”
What is Harrington’s take away from all his years on stage?
“Theatre has taught me how to step back, keep my fingers crossed, and send a quick prayer up and hope that everything turns out A-ok. But on the flip side it’s also taught me that it’s okay to pipe up and tell people how it is.”
Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, is played by Aiden Bettig, and his old business partner, Jake Marley, comes to life (and death) with the help of Brandon Henrichsen.
The audience can expect appearances by the ghosts of Christmas Past (Connor Brown), Christmas Present (Vicki DesLauries), and Christmas Future (Hannah Weaver), all very colorful and surprising versions of the Dickens characters.
Bob Cratchit (Collin Warner) and family are also on stage, along with a well-rounded cast of townspeople and dream sequence characters who ultimately give Scrooge a new lease on life.
Additional cast members include Brianna Martin, Haley Goodenough, Summer TenEyck, Katie Kriner, Breann Weaver, Max Nicely, Autumn Ackerman, Emma Stanford, Carissa Sieler, Morgan Nicely, Riley Henry, Angelina York, Maverick Bergman, Karen Merino, Yuka Mitsuhori and Asher York.