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Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge, December 3, 2006 -- a staged reading

To benefit the Hall's Restoration Fund, the Players scheduled a staged reading of this Christopher Durang satire.  With only one week of rehearsal, director Jennifer Ouellette put this hilarious romp together.
We are first introduced by The Ghost to Scrooge and Marley as youngsters.  She also introduces the adult Scrooge to his younger self who want nothing to do with each other.  The London townsfolk get together to sing (?) "We Love Christmas."  (All tunes have been changed to protect the innocent.) Scrooge is assailed by ghosts: Marley and mini-Marley.
The Ghost, now the Ghost of Christmas Past, takes Scrooge to the Cratchit's.  Oops, we're not supposed to be at the Cratchit's yet.  Scrooge is not that impressed, and Mrs. Cratchit is less than thrilled to be mother to this bunch. Mrs. Cratchit heads for a pub to drown her sorrows, then herself.  The Ghost, trying to get Scrooge to the Fezziwig's, ends up at the same bar.  Finally, the Fezziwigs appear, along with their two "very eligible" daughters.
The Ghost attempts to show Scrooge his childhood, but it looks more like Oliver Twist's childhood. The Ghost changes tack and becomes the Ghost of Christmas Present.  She show him a Dutch couple exchanging gifts, but with an O. Henry result.
Back at the Cratchit's, Mrs. Cratchit is still cranky at having to be mother to Tiny Tim, Little Nell, Child One and Child Two.  She takes off for the pub again. She demands a drink and directions to the Thames so she can drown herself.  Just then, The Ghost (of Christmas Yet-to-come) screws up showing Scrooge his grave.
George Bailey rushes in, glad to be alive! Mrs. Cratchit wishes that she were never born, so Clarence shows her what her family is now like with a happy Mrs. Cratchit.  Tiny Tim is for some reason now a dog, and Little Nell is a horse.  Note her Monty Python coconuts.
Since life seems to be better, not worse, with the original Mrs. Cratchit never-born, Clarence checks with Tess and Monica.  It seems this Mrs. Cratchit was created about a century too soon.  She and Scrooge are transported to 1972 where she insists on being called Leona Helmsley. Here she can be as mean as she wants, and Scrooge enjoys watching her do it, such as firing the maid for not dusting under the floor.

The moral of the story escapes The Ghost, since Scrooge didn't learn a lesson, but all ends well and the ensemble wishes everyone a Merry Christmas.  (All you "PC" types, get lost.)
Back row, left to right: Nancy J. Emonds, Dana T. Ring, Rick Marinara, Kathleen Schwab, Timothy Glynn, Joe Soucy, Tina Kohut, Jim Buffone, Ambre Aldi, Bob White.
Front row, left to right: Jane Maulucci, Ron Blanchette, Jenna Kohut, Christopher Lynch, Meagan Golightly, Brian Rucci, Spencer Pond, Felicina Petito, Linda Grames.
(To start Act Two, The Ghost "took a chance" on this number.  The chorus is halfway through "The Turn.")

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