Tucked away on the side streets of Santa Monica, The Highways performance space, (1651 18th St, Santa Monica) is presenting a holiday treat. It's Mrs. Scrooge: The Musical, a modernized adapted version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol ready for family audiences and geared to entertain children and adults alike.
In this musical tale, Scrooge (D. Kevin Kelly), while himself is reformed, is married to the Mrs. (Kelly Derouin.) A self centered, mean spirited Mrs. Scooge, she doesn't believe in Christmas because of her own past and certainly doesn't believe in the ghosts that her husband claims to have seen. She's even nasty to her poor assistant Miss Cratchit (Heather Cadarette) who is trying to support her orphaned brother Tim (Asher Bank.)
Meanwhile, up in heaven, a poor Teen Angel (David Burrus) is busy trying to win his wings from the head angel (Amber Morse). He must return to earth and change the life of someone mean. At loss of what to do, he and Charles Dickens (D Kevin Kelly) team up with a devilish figure, the Ghost of Christmas Future (Jake Hamilton Lewis.)
I think my favorite song of the evening was the finale, "Angels Are Watching Over Me."
The dancing, choreographed by Evie Hutton, was perfect as were those in the ensemble - Sarah Ann Vail, Jesse Turtz, Claiborne Thomas Jr., Katy Tabb, and Lee Pitts. Costumes, done by Rosalie Alverez, were wonderful . She was assisted by production assistant, Jenafer Grant and associate producer, Renee Schrader. The minimalistic set, done by Chris Stone, worked wonders for the play. Lights were done by R. Christopher Stokes and sound by Michael Shear, and the stage was managed by Ashly Jo Navarro.
Not only did Diane Namm write it, but she directed it, too, and with the help of Ed Cha wrote all the songs. Original music and arrangements were done by Robert Agis and Michael "Mac" Crowley.
Former Disney executive editior and author of 65 books, Diane Namm (www.DianeNamm.com) has turned her many talents into a charming modernized adaptation of A Christmas Carol. "West of Broadway was the perfect company for my script because their motto is literacy through state." She hopes that seeing this interactive play will encourage children to read the book in its original form. Other things by Ms. Namm including film and teleplays as The Sacrifice, The Great American Pigeon Race, Finding Hope, Telemafia, SASA, and We'll Always Have Dingle.
The only unfortunate part is that the play must move around and can only perform and weekends. Be that as it may, they have a 3:00 pm as well as a 7:30 pm performance daily. From Dec 2-4, 16-18, and 22-24 they are at Highways. While December 8-11, the play can be seen at the guest production stage of the Santa Monica Playhouse (1211 4th St., Santa Monica.) Box office for Highways is 424-234-9962.
To purchase tickets for any performance go to www.westofbroadway.com. Prices are $20 for adults and $15 for children. Several performances have already sold out.
You'll leave feeling uplifted with the spirit of Christmas -- even if you don't celebrate the holiday.