|Roger Prenger, Jonathan Perry Brown, and Katy Callie|
Photo by Heather Butcher
Click here for more information on this production that runs through December 18th.
"The old adage of "the show must go on" is front and center in Scrooge in Rouge, a bawdy retelling of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol in which a threadbare theatrical company must overcome illness to ensure the curtain rises on their latest production. Mesa Encore Theatre presents the area premiere of this musical by Ricky Graham and Jefferson Turner in a loose and lively production.
The show is set in the 1840s where the Royal Music Hall Variety Players are presenting their dramatic telling of Scrooge's tale of redemption. However, a bad case of food poisoning strikes the theatrical company of twenty, forcing the three still standing cast members to portray all the characters in the show. Hilarity and hijinks ensue....The script includes several good jokes and numerous bawdy double entendres as well as a few very corny moments. Some of these might elicit an occasional groan from the audience though I believe that is what Graham and Turner intended. While the score isn't completely memorable, it does include a repetitive motif for Scrooge that is used quiet effectively throughout ..MET's production has been directed by Jean-Paul C. Clemente who ensures the comic lines pop and the gags resonate...The trio of actors for this production are fairly good and, while they aren't all the best singers,...Katy Callie does well as the actress playing Scrooge and a few other smaller parts. ...Roger Prenger is exceptional as the actor who ends up playing numerous characters with breakneck speed and even quicker costume changes....Jonathan Perry Brown is good in the drag role of Lottie Obbligato, with a lovely comical stage presence ..though his singing skills aren't quite on par with the rest of the cast....The looseness of the script and the average score might make this musical a show that traditional theatregoers might not be akin to. But if you're up for a fun and slightly lewd night out with a cast who puts their all into the show, I think you'll have a blast with this Scrooge in Rouge. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)