Written by Patrick Chavis
A Christmas Carol, the classic and possibly the original , “I hate Christmas/ now I love Christmas story”, was done once again at the Mysterium Theatre- this time in their new Locomotive location in the La Habra Depot Theatre. Although the play promotes the classic Christmas story from the perspective of the dearly departed Marley (only friend of notorious Christmas hater Ebenezer Scrooge) after the curtain closes it feels as though you’ve gone through a more condensed version, without any of the horror and back story that makes the original so effective.
The play begins with Marley, a ghost in a top hat, robes, metallic chains clicking and clacking up against each other, and no makeup. He talks about his former friend and all of the regret he felt about life especially his constant fixation with business and money while he was alive. The scenes in between Marley’s monologues go pretty fast as we go through a few of the usual scenes of A Christmas Carol with Scrooge played exceptionally well by Paul Bert. His Ebenezer is everything you want in the character. Stiff, unfeeling, but just comical enough to make it funny. Hayley Jackson, who plays both the spirit of Christmas past and Martha Cratchit also brought a very fun and playful version of the spirit to the stage and made her transitions well as it can be hard to play more than one character. It may bother some that some of the performers play two or three roles in this production, and if you don’t keep up it can get kind of confusing.
Theatricality the whole show, especially Marley could improve. There’s no fear or gloom that you would usually get when you experience Marley’s ghost, he just looked like a guy with chains on his body. Keith Bush’s (Marley) acting on the other hand is the favorite of the night. His delivery is powerful and frankly shocking. I wanted more Marley and got too much of everything else.
I enjoyed this production of Scrooge and Marley but only from the perspective of a kid and now an adult who has grown up knowing the whole story. If this wasn’t the case this production wouldn’t be able to hold itself very well on its own. The director and writer created a play that very much relies on your love of A Christmas Carol. If you’re not already convinced, you’ll probably say Bah Humbug, for everyone else enjoy the show.
Date & Location :
Dec 4th ~ 20th
311 S. Euclid, La Habra CA 90631
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