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December 5, 2014 Published in Arts & Style, Other News

A Broadway Christmas Carol

By Laura Fries

 Michael Sharp, Peter Boyer and Tracey Stephens  (Photo: Colin Hovde)

Michael Sharp, Peter Boyer and Tracey Stephens (Photo: Colin Hovde)

Kathy Feininger’s ode to Charles Dickens and “the great white way” is like a crash course in Stephen Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Theoretically, one could earn credits in show tunes 101, as this MetroStage performance drops so many references in its hilarious take on the classic “A Christmas Carol.” It’s like a Broadway marathon speed date, complete with jazz hands, lightning-speed costume changes and even a little soft shoe.  Returning for the fifth year, the story of Scrooge is retold through famous Broadway tunes, reworked to propel the story along—to uproarious results. “The Tale of Ebenezer Scrooge,” set to Sweeney Todd, is always a crowd-pleaser, but this year the play includes new additions from “The Wiz,” “9 To 5” and “Dream Girls.” All the madcap action wouldn’t work so well if it weren’t for an extremely talented (not to mention limber) cast.

Want (Tracey Stephens) and Ignorance (Michael Sharp) (Photo by Colin Hovde)

Want (Tracey Stephens) and Ignorance (Michael Sharp) (Photo by Colin Hovde)

Peter Boyer as Scrooge, Michael Sharp as the Man Who Isn’t Scrooge and Tracey Stephens as the Woman Who Isn’t Scrooge are the hardest working trio onstage, but make it look easy--and fun.

These consummate pros sing and dance (and sometimes cartwheel) across stage, keeping the audience engaged, laughing and, by the end, singing along. Sharp triple times as choreographer and director--that is when he isn’t doing costume changes as all of the other male characters other than Scrooge. Similarly, Stephens is often in two places at once on stage playing different characters and acting up a storm. Boyer  is a devilishly delightful Scrooge with a beautiful voice to boot.  Although hidden behind the piano, Howard Breitbart offers flawless musical accompaniment as well as a phantom presence as the ghost of Christmas future as the man behind the piano. If you’re looking to create a fun Christmas tradition, this show is a must. Be sure to don your ugliest best Christmas sweater and see the show during its run at MetroStage until Dec. 28.


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