Dickens in Evolution | Theater | Weekly sample
There’s fucking good and there is fucking silly. Then there’s the great absurdity that’s so cheekily self-aware it’s chic.
Richmond Triangle Gamers has produced “Scrooge in Rouge” twice earlier than (2009 and 2017) and there’s good motive the corporate retains bringing it again. A scandalous deconstruction of “A Christmas Carol,” the present’s so-bad-it’s-so-good ethos just about ensures an excellent time.
The musical begins shortly after we uncover that almost all of the solid at Queen Victoria’s Royal Music Corridor has been incapacitated by meals poisoning, leaving solely three gamers to carry out all of the components in Dickens’ vacation basic.
The result’s a whirlwind of misbehavior, onstage bickering, and intentionally unhealthy jokes that do not advance the play a lot as exploit its myriad tropes into hilarious skits. Good-natured groans like “I do know (the pianist) is Italian as a result of he is received wandering fingers” heat the viewers for darkish, raucous scenes like Bob Cratchit’s spouse nonchalantly placing their child in her pocket whereas smoking a cigarette.
Whereas this sort of silliness establishes an nearly fundamental degree of humor, it requires expert actors to raise it to actual ranges of enjoyable, and director Kendall Walker has made impressed decisions in assembling the solid.
Drag performer Wette Midler performs the cute Lottie Obbligato who cannot cease calling Tiny Tim’s household “crab truffles” or the play’s creator, Charles Darwin. Nora Ogunleye makes anger endearing as Vesta Ferrell, the music corridor performer tasked with embodying Scrooge. She does so with an power that alternates between startled discomfort and needy calls for for viewers approval.
- Martinez’s destiny
- Ogunleye and the thrilling August Hundley as Charlie Schmaltz in “Scrooge in Rouge,” operating by way of December 23 at RTP in Scott’s Addition.
August Hundley is an actual revelation as Charlie Schmaltz who delivers the worst jokes with such successful glee that you could’t assist however snigger. Burdened with such disparate characters as Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, and the Satan himself, Hundley makes Charlie’s weird battle to stay an optimist palpable amid ill-fitting costumes, missed cues and mounting logistical challenges.
Musical director Elle Meerovich not solely offers top-notch accompaniment to the usually turbulent songs, but additionally serves as a secret weapon together with her stage persona, Alfie Da Cappo. When the solid of actors to play Tiny Tim runs out, Da Cappo’s refusal to be drafted into the service is a low-key spotlight.
All of those artists have appeared at exhibits at RTP earlier than; Three of the 4 had been on “The Rocky Horror Present” final 12 months. However Walker brings out their particular skills, permitting Midler to seek out completely happy satisfaction in her character’s narcissism, for instance.
She additionally manages the usually complicated stage visitors with aplomb.
All the creative parts of the manufacturing assist elevate the humor, particularly costume designer Sheila Ross’s parade of gorgeous costumes (working from authentic designs by Thomas Hammond). Sound designer Joey Luck provides enjoyable audio touches as properly, just like the eerie echo in Ebenezer’s voice.
The jostling between sexual identities will not be introduced within the present but it surely does make room for a lot of comedic asides and undercurrents, at one level including ambivalent pleasure to Vista’s insult of “You make an unpleasant lady!”
Going again to Tiny Tim’s work, the great manner the actors extricate themselves from this specific pickle is only one of dozens of entertaining causes to observe this present. For anybody bored with the typically candy sentiment of the season, “Scrooge in Rouge” is the proper antidote.
“Scrooge in Rouge: An English Music Corridor Christmas Carol” runs by way of Dec. 23 at Richmond Triangle Gamers, 1300 Altamont Ave. Tickets and knowledge can be found at https://rtriangle.org/.
(tags for translation) richmond