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Scrooge By Any Other Name 

Richmond Triangle Players present a different kind of “Carol.”

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Do you need to put a little spice into your Christmas cheer this year?  The Richmond Triangle Players are offering up a saucy revamping of the traditional Charles Dickens tale in the form of “Scrooge in Rouge, An English Music Hall Christmas Carol” now playing at Theatre Gym at the Empire Theatre. What gives this show its twist is the approach. Bawdy humor, goofy gags, raucous tunes sung to a tinny piano and stinky jokes — “She's so mean she sends Mother's Day cards to orphans” — give this show its edge.

The premise of “Scrooge in Rouge” is that most of the cast has fallen ill from food poisoning and there are only three people left standing to perform “A Christmas Carol.”  The result is a whirlwind vaudevillian show that is as fast paced as Dasher on Red Bull. With no less than 38 costume changes between three actors in an hour and fifteen minutes, there is a woman playing a man, a man playing several women and a man playing a woman playing a man.

Lauren Leinhaas-Cook, Steve Boschen and Kirk Morton are well accompanied by Tim Brewster on the keyboards as they sing and dance through this screwball story of Scrooge and his ghostly visitors. This cast is a stellar example of ensemble work. Feeding off each other's energy, they put out a high quality, polished product hilariously set off by Thomas W. Hammond's kooky Victorianesque costumes. Particularly laughter-inducing is Mrs. Cratchit's   ensemble, which suggests a very frazzled mother of several children with drooping breasts and the next little Cratchit on the way.

Loosen up your holiday and catch “Scrooge in Rouge”. Just be sure to treat the hard-working cast to drinks afterwards. Members deserve it.
      
“Scrooge in Rouge, An English Music Hall Christmas Carol” is playing at the Theatre Gym at the Empire Theatre, 114 W. Broad St., on selected dates through Dec. 19.  For information go to www.rtriangle.org or call 804-346-8113.

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