This town’s mer­ri­est mi­sers

Annex Post - - NEWS -

We’re pit­ting Soulpep­per Scrooge against Ross Petty Scrooge in a bat­tle of Toronto’s two pre­miere Christ­mas Carol pro­duc­tions. Who’s got the big­gest, bad­dest ‘Bah! Humbug’ in town? Find out. More than 10 years now. I give my­self time. I get to the the­atre early, and I get dressed early too. I stay quiet and try to give my­self to the play. I try to let the play in­habit me, if that makes any sense. The movie with Alas­tair Sim. Un­for­get­table. Beau­ti­ful. Funny, sad, ter­ri­bly mov­ing.… I think it means two things: “Bah!” means “Stop talk­ing rub­bish,” and I think “humbug” means some­thing like “I’ve never heard any­thing so stupid.” It’s a won­der­ful story, told by a mas­ter sto­ry­teller: Charles Dick­ens. It’s funny, sad, top­i­cal and im­por­tant and re­minds us of a lot of things we need to be re­minded about. A Christ­mas Carol runs Dec. 7 to 24, at the Young Cen­tre, Soulpep­per.ca I’ve been play­ing Scrooge since Oct. 24. I am, there­fore, the world’s fore­most author­ity on the char­ac­ter. I’m wear­ing mut­ton chops. They do 85 per cent of the work. The ac­cent is another 10 per cent. As of the Nov. 30 open­ing of our show, ours will be. But un­til then, I’d say the 1951 film star­ring Alas­tair Sim is still the go-to. I think it’s Vic­to­rian grump for: “Oh please. Non­sense!” It’s ex­tremely sat­is­fy­ing to say, even more so to yell. It has all the great things from the Dick­ens clas­sic –– ghosts, redemp­tion, a big bed –– plus singing, danc­ing and at least one man in drag. Ross Petty’s A Christ­mas Carol, Nov. 24 to Dec. 31, El­gin The­atre, rosspetty.com

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