(Fort Worth, Texas) It’s 1899, and The Royal Music Hall Variety Players are set to open a production of A Christmas Carol. Just one problem. Most of the company have been stricken with food poisoning. Can the three remaining members soldier on alone for this musical performance of the Dickens classic? You’ll have a blast finding out, as Stage West presents Scrooge in Rouge, an English Music Hall Christmas Carol, by Ricky Graham, with Additional Material by Jeffery Roberson, Other Interesting Bits by Yvette Hargis, and Original Music Composed by Jefferson Turner. This wacky piece of holiday hilarity will run in a regional premiere from December 2 through 24 in the Jerry Russell Theatre.
Just three unlikely company members out of twenty—Charlie Schmaltz, Lottie Obbligato (a female impersonator), and Vesta Virile (a male impersonator)—but they tackle the evening with absolute determination and good will, joined by their accompanist, Alfred Da Cappo. Their take on this classic includes plenty of farce, a slew of rapid costume changes, and, as per its 19th-century British music hall setting, some very corny jokes with plenty of innuendo. And there’s also a goodly helping of the story of Scrooge’s transformation on hand. It may not be your father’s Christmas Carol, but he, and all audience members, will undoubtedly love it!
Due to the rise of the Covid Delta variant, Stage West is requiring that all audience members wear masks other than while eating or drinking. Additional information about Stage West’s Covid protocols can be found on the website. Patrons not yet feeling safe about returning to live theatre will be able to stream the production beginning Thursday, December 9.
Ricky Graham has written his other holiday musical, The Pecan Cracker, for Southern Rep Theatre in New Orleans. He’s written, directed, and performed in Crescent City for WWNO, an affiliate of National Public Radio. With Jeff Roberson he has written Gone With The Breaking Wind, and with Jefferson Turner and Sean Patterson Ricky has written The Money Box, based on Molière’s The Miser, which premiered at the Department of Theatre Arts at Loyola University, New Orleans.
Jefferson Turner holds a BA in Music History from Loyola University; since then he has built a career in performing, music directing, and composing in theatre. He has worked at many theatres, including Rivertown Theatres, Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, NOLA Project, Jefferson Performing Arts Society, and Cripple Creek Theatre Company. From 2003 – 2005, Jefferson was the music director in residence for NORD’s Ty Tracy Theatre. He has written and performed many original cabaret works with Amy Alvarez, Ricky Graham, Sean Patterson and Mandy Zirkenbach, and Janet Shea, including Scrooge in Rouge. In 2013, Jefferson wrote (with Graham and Patterson) an original musical for the Theatre Department at Loyola University, The Money Box, based on Moliere’s The Miser. He has music directed the regional premieres of Tony Award-winning musicals Next to Normal and Fun Home, both with Southern Rep Theatre. He spends much of his time developing and performing new works for local stages.
Scrooge in Rouge will be directed and choreographed by Danielle Georgiou, who last choreographed the Moonrise Initiative production of The Naughty List for Stage West, with musical direction by Cherish Robinson. The cast features Gloria Vivica Benavides, just seen as Soyla Reina in American Mariachi at the Goodman Theatre, Cherish Robinson, who appeared as Ronnette, and Alejandro Saucedo, seen as Seymour, both in the recent Theatre Three production of Little Shop of Horrors, and Jovane Caamaño, seen as Doug Simon in Gutenberg! The Musical! at Amphibian Stage Productions. Tiffany Cromwell will serve as Production Stage Manager, with set and lighting design by Lori Honeycutt, costume design by Sarah Mosher, sound design by Mark Howard, and props by Lynn Lovett. Sound mixing will be by Joshua Nguyen, and Mary Swanson will be Assistant Costume Designer.
Scrooge in Rouge will preview Thursday, December 2 at 7:30 and Friday, December 3 at 8:00, and will run through Friday, December 24. There will be a champagne toast following the opening night performance on Saturday, December 4. Performance times will be Thursday evenings at 7:30, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00, with Sunday matinees at 3:00. There will be two additional performances on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 21 and 22, at 7:30. The show will be interpreted for the hearing-impaired on Thursday, December 16. There will also be a Safe Sunday performance, with proof of vaccination required, on Sunday, December 19. A streamed version will be available for $20 per person beginning Thursday, December 9.
Ticket prices for the new season are $40 on Thursdays and Fridays, and $45 on Saturdays and Sundays, with $20 tickets for the two preview performances. Food service is available 90 minutes prior to performances (reservations are advised). Reservations and information are available through the Box Office (817-784-9378), or on the website, www.stagewest.org.
The play runs about an hour and 45 minutes counting one intermission, and is rated PG-13 for suggestive language and innuendo.
Members of the media may attend for review purposes on Saturday, December 4, or any performance thereafter.
Just the facts
Event: SCROOGE IN ROUGE
by Ricky Graham
Additional Material by Jeffery Roberson
Other Interesting Bits by Yvette Hargis
Original Music Composed by Jefferson Turner
Presenter: Stage West
Metro (817) 784-9378 (STG-WEST)
Location: 821 W Vickery Blvd in Fort Worth in the Jerry Russell Theatre
Details: Our ushers and staff will be wearing masks to ensure safety during the performance. Audience members are likewise required to be masked, unless they are partaking of concessions.
Previews: Thurs Dec 2 at 7:30 and Fri Dec 3 at 8:00
Regular Run: Dec 4 through 24, 2021
Thurs 7:30, Fri/Sat 8:00, Sun 3:00; the additional performances on Tues and Wed, Dec 21 and 22 will be at 7:30.
Signed performance Thurs, Dec 16
Safe Sunday with vaccination proof required Sun Dec 19
Streamed version available beginning Thurs, Dec 9
Ticket Prices: $20 previews
$40 Thurs/Fri for in-person
$45 Sat/Sun for in-person
$20 for per person for streaming