By Michall Jeffers
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a book beloved by both children and adults the world over. Tim And Scrooge poses the intriguing question of what happened after the story ended. It’s twelve years later, and as it turns out, Ebenezer Scrooge (George Lee Andrews) really did change his life; he took the Cratchit family securely under his wing. No more freezing poverty, no more worries about the next meal for Bob (John Hillner), his wife Anne (Anna McNeely) and their brood. In fact, the late “Uncle Eb,” as he’s been called, has willed his business to Tim (no longer Tiny). The fly in the ointment is the wrinkle that Tim doesn’t want to run “Scrooge, Marley,and Cratchet.” Tim wants to be a teacher; he also wants to marry Allison (Marissa McGowan), and plans to surprise his family with the happy news. Allison is an orphan, while Tim is surrounded by his brothers, the hapless father-to-be Gerald (Jed Resnick), who cannot keep a secret to save his life; Peter (Spencer Plachy), who likes the counting house just fine; and sister Martha (Rita Harvey), a romantic at heart.
Tim decides that the best way to deal with his dilemma is to hire a management company to oversee the business. He engages two con men, Henry Hastings (Daniel Marcus) and Harold Hall (Fred Inkley), who arrange for Tim to sign a legal paper giving them control. When Bob finds out, he’s beside himself. Tim has made a major gaffe in not consulting his father first. Meanwhile, Allison, who’s staying with her friend Vanessa (Chandler Reeves), has received two notes from Tim. One advises her not to come to his home; the other is blank. Allison is a determined young woman, and decides to go to the Cratchit house in spite of Tim’s letter.
All of this action is being observed by the recently deceased Ebenezer. He’s been advised by his long dead partner, Jacob Marley (Kevin Ligon), that he may look but not touch. Even though he’s frustrated by not being able to help out, Ebenezer obeys the rules- until Marley’s back is turned, and Ebenezer substitutes Tim’s missive with the blank piece of paper. Dressed in shades of white and ivory, Scrooge is now rather angelic, but he still enjoys having his say in the events swirling around him.
The music for Tim And Scrooge is lively and pleasant; the entire show is directed with a light hand by Nick Corley. But the major impact is delivered by a superb company of actors, each with an excellent voice. George Lee Andrews, Justin Scott Brown, and all the other performers are simply the best; they fill Westchester Broadway Theatre with glorious sound, all the better for the audience to enjoy the holiday. If there is a standout among these polished professionals, it would have to be Marissa McGowan. She not only possesses a lovely soprano voice; she’s also Kelly Ripa gorgeous, and brings humor and depth to the spunky Allison.
Tim And Scrooge is definitely a feel good evening for young and old. Westchester Broadway Theatre has long been the favorite spot for people celebrating special events, and for those who enjoy seeing entertaining musicals in this beautiful space. Acres of free parking and a delicious dinner add to the fun; lots of patrons come back for every show. Tim And Scrooge brightens the holiday season, and those magnificent voices gladden every heart.
Photos by John Vecchiolla
Tim And Scrooge, Westchester Broadway Theatre, 1 Broadway Plaza, Elmsford N.Y.
Through December 27, 2015
Composed by Neil Berg, with book and lyrics by Nick Meglin
Director, Nick Corley; Musical Director, Patrick Hoagland; Musical Supervisor, Eugene Gwozdz, Set design, Steve Loftus; Lighting design, Andrew Gmoser; Sound Design, John Hatton & Mark Zuckerman; Costume design, Martha Bromelmeier
Cast: George Lee Andrews (Scrooge), Justin Scott Brown (Tim), Rita Harvey (Martha Cratchit), John Hillner (Bob Cratchit), Daniel Marcus (Henry Hastings), Kevin Ligon (Jacob Marley), Marissa McGowan (Allison), Anna McNeeley (Ann Crachitt), Spencer Plachy, (Peter Crachit), Jed Resnick (Gerald Cratchit), Chandler Reeves (Vanessa Dorset)