Wild Swan brings shortened ‘Scrooge’ to the kids
ANN ARBOR, Mich.–Scrooge. Scrooge. Scrooge all around us. It seems you can’t swing a mistletoe this time of year without hitting a production of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
But some of them are a bit long, and even when done marvelously as is the case with The Meadow Brook and Wayne State productions, they can be a bit long for the young ones. Enter Wild Swan Theatre with their delightful one-hour production, adapted/written by the company’s own Hilary Cohen who also directed.
Robert Starko plays an able Scrooge, depicting the early grim money-counter with sufficient crustiness, and with good redemptive light at the end. Nine ensemble members play 31 roles. Impressive. Sandy Ryder stands out for her Ghost of Christmas Past and Present and Mrs. Dilbert. Michelle Trame Lanzi shines as Mrs. Cratchitt and the laundress who snatches Scrooge’s bed curtains. But, really, the whole ensemble is quite good and able in Cohen’s adaptation, which stays close to the story, but expedites and simplifies some of the language for the grade-school audiences it is intended to reach.
Shana M. Burns designed a lovely, hard working single-set piece that works well to serve as backdrop for everything from Scrooge’s office to the Cratchitt’s living room to the hovel of the pawnbroker. Suzanne Young’s costume design also lives up nicely to the Victorian needs of the story.
It is a short run. But there are shows this weekend. God bless us all everyone.