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Scrooge can be seen in shorter play

Special to The Village News

Considered the greatest novelist of his era, Charles Dickens penned and published "A Christmas Carole" in 1843. It has been considered a Christmas classic ever since.

The story is being retold as a new work called "Ebenezer Scrooge's BIG San Diego Christmas Show." It turns out to be the Reader's Digest version of the original albeit updated using some modern prose.

Anyway, if you don't feel like committing 2 ½ hours to see the musical version of "A Christmas Carol" at the Cygnet Theatre in Old Town San Diego, this 80-minute musical version might be just the thing. It is playing at the Sheryl & Harvey White Theatre in the round inside The Old Globe complex in the heart of Balboa Park.

The show is pleasant enough. It was rewritten by Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen to fit into a shorter time frame. There is even a bit of local humor salted in the redo. But.

While Ebenezer (Robert Joy) tries his best, even frolics about in an old bathing costume, it still doesn't sell. Face it, the storyline is 176-years old. It is no longer relevant. Regardless of how talented the actors might be, the songs aren't hum-able, the set is minimal, and the story is overdone.

While live theater is competing with a wide range of family entertainment choices, it is puzzling why so much effort is spent on looking back instead of forward. Hasn't anyone come up with one new idea about Christmas in 176 years?

"Ebenezer Scrooge's BIG San Diego Christmas Show" is playing until Dec. 29.

Free parking can be a nightmare in the park unless you attend a matinee. You may then be forced to either walk in from the lot on Park Street or catch the trolley. The other option is $14 to snag valet parking with advance reservations through the box office, (619) 234-5623 or visit This show is rated 8 out of 10.

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached at [email protected].


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