See "Bah Humbug" an Original Musical Version of "A Christmas Carol" Nov 29th and 30th
Only two performances!
Since I won't be able to see Bah Humbug, I got a chance to see one of its tech rehearsals this week instead. From what I saw, the show looks to be an exciting and fun musical rendition of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol that will be fun for adults and children alike.
Staying very close to the text of the original novel, Playwright Susan Pagel's script provides an entertaining holiday trip through the trials of Miser Ebenezer Scrooge as he is confronted with his dislike of Christmas by Ghosts and Spirits of the Past, Present and Future.
I have often avoided productions of this show because I have never seen one that was not to me a re-hash of the same old story. But this production is enhanced by singing, dancing, and on-stage fiddling that makes it what could be a family favorite if discovered by a larger producer.
This is a last minute post, but if you want a fun thing to do Thanksgiving weekend, this benefit for Theater on the Move, is just what Santa ordered.
I won't try to Boss you around by saying who, it's tacky to review a show that isn't up, but this Scrooge goes through a transcendent change you won't soon forget.
Sunday, November 29, 2008 at 8:00pm
Sunday, November 30, 2008 at 3:00pm
Morgan Park Academy Arts Center
2153 W 111th Street
Chicago, IL 60643
CTA Bus: CTA Route 112
CTA Rail: Red Line to Bus 112 or Orange line to 49, 49a, and 112 EB
Metra: A few blocks west of the Metra Rock Island Beverly Branch
Reservations for open seating: 773-239-2399
Here is some more information about the show and the history of the group producing it. Thanks to the Theater on the Move publicity people for providing it:
Theater On The Move, a subsidiary of Better Entertainment Enterprises, (BEE) will be celebrating it’s 25th anniversary providing entertainment in the Southwest area with it’s musical production of “Bah Humbug!, Dickens’ Christmas Carol with Song & Prose,” at the Morgan Park Academy on November 29th and 30th. The musical tells the story of Scrooge and the four spirits who visit him on Christmas Eve, forcing him to become a more kind and charitable person, keeping the spirit of Christmas in his heart throughout the calendar year. Cast members ranging in age from 2 to 97 will present this family entertainment which was written an adapted from Dickens story by Artistic Director, Susan Pagels ( West Beverly) with musical direction by Catherine Kogut-Simon (Matteson).
Better Entertainment Enterprises (BEE) was founded in 1977 and incorporated not-for-profit in 1978. BEE operated as a touring company until 1984 when a performance and training center (Bethel Performing Art Center) was established in Evergreen Park. The space was a derelict four room parochial school building, about to be demolished, when BEE took it over. Untold hours of volunteer labor and contributions brought it up to fire code and made it a cozy black box theater. After 10 years of continuous productions, BEE found it was bursting at the seams and with the kind support from its members and numerous area businesses moved to a much larger space in Merrionette Park.
The ink was not dry on the lease when pipes bursts in the building, flooding the basement and causing several weeks delay in construction. Despite this obstacle, volunteers worked day and night to create a 300 seat dinner-theater with food services provided by their top supporter, Papa Joe’s restaurant in Oak Lawn. BEE, operated successfully for several years as Struggles Dinner Playhouse until once again, BEE incurred a name change, and became, “Theater On The Move”, traveling to spaces in Crestwood, Alsip, Blue Island and for the past few years Morgan Park Academy’s stage. Since its inception, BEE has provided an opportunity for people in the Chicago metropolitan area to partake in live theater programs.
The Company has produced over two hundred full-scale comedies, dramas and musicals. Two original education children’s productions were performed for over six hundred Chicago and suburban public schools and the theater also sponsored two citywide talent competitions and workshops in the theater arts to local Girl Scout Troops. During it’s twenty-five years of operation, it has trained over 1000 area children with varying abilities and diverse backgrounds, many of whom have gone on to perform professionally and even on Broadway stages.
In addition to seeking the truly talented artist, youths that are emotionally, physically and socially disadvantaged have been given the opportunity to work in a theater environment by BEE. Students from the Pride Alternative School in Oak Lawn and Aunt Martha’s in Chicago are among the groups that have been targeted in the past. Senior citizens have also been welcomed members of many casts and stage crews. Through their training with BEE, these members gained a sense of fulfillment and the confidence to perform in other theaters in the Chicago area.
BEE’s current production “Bah Humbug” has been performed for more than 15 of its 25 years and features veteran performer John B. Boss (Oak Lawn) as the miserly old Scrooge. Playing the spirits are Jack Simon (Matteson) as Marley, Becca Thoss (Orland Pk) and Kaitlyn Frieling (Palos Heights) as Christmas Past, Peter James Foote (Beverly) as Christmas Present and Simon doubling as the Ghost of Christmas Future. Scrooge’s clerk Bob Cratchit is played by Ron Buscemi (Evergreen Park) with Kathy Murzyn (Marquette Manor ) as Mrs. Cratchit and Olivia Aleman (Oak Lawn) and Adrian Arriaga (Chicago) sharing the role of Tiny Tim. Also featured in the cast are Leo Fagan (Chicago Lawn) and Patricia Henaghan (Olympia Fields) as Mr. & Mrs. Fezziwig. The story line is narrated by Susan Pagels (West Beverly ).
Other members of the 57 person cast include: Ashley Mannion, Rachel Olson, Meghan Cronin, Meghan Hurkes, Jenna Hurkes,Callie Pieczara, Emily Killeen, Jackie Haas, (Oak Lawn): Danielle Hamzik (Bridgeview),Alice & Randy Trull (Hickory Hills), Abbey Norton ( Tinley Park), Sarah Conway, Peter Donald Foote (Scrooge as a boy) (Beverly), Nancy Balouris, Ray & Mary Anne Zygmuntovic, John Marozas, Mary Kenealy, Cathy Earle, (Chicago Ridge), Destiny Frejek, Charles Jackson, Gabrielle Berrien, Yvonne & Shesheta McNutt, Brett Arceneaux, Alexander Arnold, Daphne Ziqui, Vanessa Brown, (Chicago) : Christina Jesik, Erin Kelly, Lauren Luchsinger, Scott Sowinski (Mount Greenwood) and Mary , Lauren & Jimmy O’Neal, Jennifer, Jessica, & Michelle Spreadbury, Lauren Merriweather, Katie Scheidt (Oak Forest).
Show times are 8:00PM on Saturday , November 29th and 3:00PM on Sunday November 30th at the Morgan Park Academy, 2153 W 111th Street.
Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $13 for Senior and children 12 and under. Tickets can be reserved by calling 773-239-2399. Kick off your Holiday Season with this much loved classic and help BEE celebrate their 25th Anniversary.
Hope you can make it! Happy Thanksgiving!
Peter, Chief Editor and Spelling Wrecker
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