A Christmas Carol – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

Come see Scrooge who has his night shirt in a twist, think candy canes upside down, in a brand new musical version courtesy of Pantochino Productions at the Milford Train Station, the Milford Arts Council, The MAC, until Saturday, December 18, perfect for the whole family to hoot, holler and enjoy. This is Dickens’ legendary tale told with an unusual cast of characters, but in the full spirit of the holidays. Speaking of spirits, they begin with the long dead Jacob Marley who was in life the greedy partner of Ebenezer Scrooge. Marley has returned to warn his old business buddy to mend his ways, and stop making money his sole aim in life. Marley has promised to send Scrooge a trio of visitations, this time from a most unusual series of high fashion ghosts, purported to all be Victoria Sautee.

Were Scrooge and Marley a lively singing duo in a former life? A group calling themselves The Merry Singers would suggest this is so as they delight us with such tunes, cleverly written by Justin Rugg, who doubles as a genuine bah humbug Scrooge. The tunes include the encouraging “You Can Change,” “Raise Your Glasses.” “We’ll Have a Plain, Simple Christmas,” “Nobody Likes You, Mister Scrooge” and “Final Destination.” The Merry Singers include Maria Berte, Ryder Blanchard, Sam Everett, Skye Gillespie, Mary Mannix, Don Poggio, Shelley Marsh Poggio and Nora Simonelli. Davis Burke plays Tiny Tim. Jimmy Johansmeyer’s Bob Scratchit engages delightfully as the musical’s narrator as well as being the producer of a lovely rainbow selection of colorful costumes.

This version is Scrooge with a sense of humor and a lot of laughter, as written with book and lyrics by Bert Bernardi, who has been leading this award winning not for profit theater company for a dozen years. Their good works include summer theatre camps, classes, after school drama programs and teen theatre. 

For tickets go online to www.pantochino.com. Performances are Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. You are invited to bring food and drink for their cabaret style seating. Vaccinations are recommended but not required. Masks are optional.

Come watch Scrooge undergo a redemptive makeover as he realizes, just in time, that love and charity are a wonderful way to live.