A Christmas Carol musical with a difference

Amadís Ma. Guerrero - The Philippine Star
A Christmas Carol musical with a difference
The cast members perform production numbers featuring the lyrics of Lynn Ahrens and the appealing song of Alan Menken, plus the choreography of the company’s PJ Rebullida and Yek Barlongay.

MANILA, Philippines – The new musical version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol will be different, bleak and dark, with echoes of the industrial revolution which caused so much misery in mid-19th century London. The kids might be scared, but not to worry, parents. It will still be entertaining, a family show.

The production is by 9Works Theatrical and Globe Live and stars Miguel Faustmann as Ebenezer Scrooge under the direction of Robbie Guevara. The play opens on Dec. 3, 7 p.m. at the Globe Iconic Store, Bonifacio High Street Amphitheater (Bonifacio Global City, Taguig), and will run for four weekends until Dec. 25. (For details, call 0917-5545560.)

This was announced at a recent press conference at the Studio Loft, Manansala Tower in Rockwell Center, Makati City. There were production numbers by the large cast featuring the lyrics of Lynn Ahrens and the appealing song of Alan Menken (of Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid fame), plus the choreography of the company’s PJ Rebullida and Yek Barlongay.

Scrooge is the man everybody hates, a thoroughly unpleasant person who is stingy, a real s.o.b. who scorns the meaning of Christmas. The turning point in his life comes when he is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, who lay bare the kind of life he has led. The visits lead to his redemption.

“I wanted Miguel (Scrooge) to be Shylock,” said director Robbie, a reference in to the villainous moneylender Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. “He (the character Scrooge) has to be so scared that he wants to change. It is a ghost story which has to be scary. I went back to Dickens. He wanted Scrooge to change his life; that is what I will push.”

The production will be experimental, the director said. Things will be happening all around the audience. The set will be bleak, as well. And the huge venue will be filled with performances.

The sadness will be bearable, however. “I cannot afford to be corny,” Robbie quipped, “We are expecting the millennials and their kids, who may be scared but also entertained. After all, 20 years from now, they will be the ones buying the tickets!”

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