Cathryn Wake and Robert Joy in "Ebenezer Scrooge ..." at Old Globe Theatre. bbbPhoto by Jim Cox
It may sound incongruous to re-set Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” in San Diego in the early 20th century, but incongruity is all part of the freewheeling fun of the Old Globe’s “Ebenezer Scrooge’s BIG San Diego Christmas Show.” While the kiddies are next door in the Globe’s main theater this holiday season enjoying “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”, grown-ups have the alternative of Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen’s spoof inside the smaller Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre.
Rife with anachronisms, inside jokes and clever San Diego-centric references, the one-act “Ebenezer” more or less follows the narrative of the well-trod Dickens story while departing from it in consistently entertaining ways. The joking-and-singing cast of five directed by Greenberg is terrific: Dan Rosales, Cathryn Wake, Orville Mendoza, Jacque Wilke and Robert Joy, who plays Scrooge. All the others occupy multiple roles during the show as well as manipulate the production’s many props and stage effects.
The Globe may be hoping that “Ebenezer Scrooge’s BIG San Diego Christmas Show” becomes another holiday tradition, like “The Grinch.” You know what? It should.
David L. Coddon is theater critic for San Diego CityBeat