Watching Ebenezer Scrooge transform from a grumpy, Christmas-hating miser into a giddy humanitarian eager for holiday festivities has been a tradition this time of year ever since Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” debuted in 1843.
This weekend brings the chance to see the familiar story retold as a musical, as “Scrooge” comes to the historic Old Opera House located at 204 N. George St. in Charles Town.
This version – directed by Steven Brewer, the OOH’s artistic manager – is an adaption of the story by Leslie Bricusse, the Oscar- and Grammy-winning British composer. His 1992 stage musical, in turn, grew out of the wildly popular 1970 film, “Scrooge,” starring Albert Finney.
The show’s premiere on Thursday has been sold out for weeks, but theater fans can get into the Christmas spirit with shows on Friday and Saturday nights, Sunday afternoon and again next week when performances are scheduled from Dec. 13 through 16.
In the Old Opera House’s staging of “Scrooge,” Glenn Frail portrays the lead character, the cold-hearted banker that Dickens paints as a “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner!”
By the play’s end, Mr. Scrooge has famously experienced an awakening thanks to visits from a quartet of spirits: first the ghost of his long-dead business partner Jacob Marley (portrayed by Richard Bennett) and then the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.
In a casting twist, the vivacious Holly Legg, a favorite from “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and other recent OOH shows, makes her own the role of the Ghost of Christmas Past – a part usually played by a burley man.
The production is sponsored by The Bennett Agency, the Charles Town insurance agency at 118 N. Charles St. owned by Chip and Debbie Bennett.
Others in the cast of “Scrooge” include Michael Morseberger, Larry Marcille, Jeremy Spangler, Rene Farabaugh, Irina R. S. Price, Jennifer George, Kevin Tester, Todd Cole, Melinda Cole, Linda Romero, Megan West, Bruce Olson, Paul Cabell, Carol Gallant, Jim Whipple, Ed Conn, Johnna Leary, Gail Farmer, Christine Brewer, Josie Mae Wilson, Kathleen Shively, Caroline Brewer, Eli Viands, Katie Kennedy, Austin Gregoryk, Tyler Panzarella, Jena Kennedy, Emily Tester, Eli Viands, Addison Jackson, Alyssa Dowell, Caylee Puetz, Ashley Tester and Davis Cummings.