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Phipps Review: 'A Christmas Carol' for all ages

Beth Cratchit, played by Cristin Ford, hugs a reformed Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Michael Townsend, in The Phipps production of “Bah Humbug! Scrooge’s Christmas Carol.” The production runs Dec. 7-16 with performances on weekends. Rebecca Mariscal / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 5
Michael Townsend plays the titular character Ebenezer Scrooge in The Phipps production of “Bah Humbug! Scrooge’s Christmas Carol.” The Children’s Theater production is a musical version of the classic tale. Rebecca Mariscal / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 5
The Ghost of Christmas Past, played by Jeff Cernohous, and Scrooge, played by Michael Townsend, view a moment of Christmas Past, when a young Scrooge, played by Kyan Otremba, is visited by his sister, played by Franny Foster. Rebecca Mariscal / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 5
Tiny Tim, played by Moses Hasapopoulos, sings a song based on the classic line, “God bless us, every one,” in “Bah Humbug! Scrooge’s Christmas Carol” at The Phipps. Rebecca Mariscal / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 5
The spirit of Josie Marley, played by Linda Chimzar, appears in the fog outside of Scrooge’s house in The Phipps production of “Bah Humbug! Scrooge’s Christmas Carol.” Marley is the first of four spirits to visit Scrooge on Christmas Eve. Rebecca Mariscal / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 5

A classic Christmas tale receives a family-friendly twist in The Phipps Children's Theater's "Bah Humbug! Scrooge's Christmas Carol," a production that will entertain all ages.

This simpler version of Charles Dickens' story adds music and dancing to the adventure of Ebenezer Scrooge and his night of ghostly visits.

On Christmas Eve the surly, selfish Scrooge, played by Michael Townsend, is visited by four spirits who attempt to show the man the error in his ways. His old business partner Josie Marley, played by Linda Chimzar, warns him of the three visits he should expect. Arriving in their time, the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, played by Jeff Cernohous, Jack Corbett and Dane Olson, take Scrooge on a journey to see images of what has been, what is and what could be.

The vital theme of kindness and charity toward all is presented in this shorter version alongside upbeat songs and fun choreography in a way that children can take in and reflect.

A multi-generational cast makes up the musical, bringing all ages together.

Though some of the backstories are altered, beloved characters from the original tale take their place in this version as well, including the Cratchit family, led in this production by Mrs. Cratchit, played by Cristin Ford. Moses Hasapopoulos plays the adorable, optimistic Tiny Tim, uttering, as well as singing, the well-known and well-loved phrase "God bless us, every one."

Franny Foster plays Scrooge's devoted sister Fanny, who served as the source of joy and light in his past, something he has since lost as he aged. Jacey Eckholm plays her daughter, Fran, Scrooge's niece who counters her uncle's miserly behavior with unending cheer and goodwill, refusing to give up on him.

Performed in the Black Box Theater, the production brings the audience close to the action. The set design makes good use of the smaller stage space, using different levels of the stage to set the different locations of the production, from Scrooge's bedroom to his office to the outside world.

The design of the set has all the little details that Phipps' productions are sure to present.

"Bah Humbug! Scrooge's Christmas Carol" runs Dec. 7-16, with performances at 7 p.m. on Fridays, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays.

Rebecca Mariscal

Rebecca Mariscal joined the Hudson Star Observer as a reporter in 2016. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in communication and journalism. 

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