BWW Interview: Frank Benge Dishes on MRS. BOB CRATCHIT'S WILD CHRISTMAS BINGE
Bust out the egg nog. Sam Bass Community Theatre's currently celebrating the Holiday season with an unconventional Christmas comedy, Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge by acclaimed playwright Christopher Durang. A musical parody of the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge asks what if Mrs. Cratchit wasn't so goody-goody and was instead a angry, stressed out modern-day American woman who wanted out of her harsh 1840s London life.
Frank Benge, who plays Scrooge in the comedy, recently answered some of our questions about Mrs. Cratchit and her Wild Christmas Binge...
BWW: How would you describe Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge?
Frank Benge: It's a parody of the Dickens classic with music. I think one of our patrons actually described it best when they called the show the "Blazing Saddles" of Christmas plays. It pretty much takes all of your favorite Christmas stories and puts them in a blender.
BWW: What made Chirstmas Binge an attractive show for Sam Bass Community Theatre?
Frank Benge: We are always looking for new shows for the holidays. This one was especially appealing because it allowed for a mix of both adult actors and parts for our Youth Guild so they could gain stage experience with more seasoned performers.
BWW: Are there any challenges in poking fun at a Holiday classic?
Frank Benge: Oh, of course. There's always a chance someone will be offended. So far though, we have had audiences that were ready to take this crazy ride with us.
BWW: What's it like to play Christopher Durang's version of Scrooge?
Frank Benge: It's been a blast. Durang's Scrooge is very self-aware and breaks the 4th wall to talk directly to the audience. He's equal parts the classic Scrooge everyone knows and modern snark with a sharp tongue. He has been a real joy to play because he veers off course in unexpected ways... especially at the end.
BWW: How has the rehearsal process been for this show?
Frank Benge: It's been pretty average, for a musical. We did take a whole week off for the holidays, which was kind of strange; however, it really put us on our toes.
BWW: How are audiences responding to the show so far?
Frank Benge: We have had great audience response! They have been laughing and saying really great things after the show. I've been very pleased with the response.
BWW: Any Holiday messages for BroadwayWorld readers?
Frank Benge: I wish everyone out there a Holiday season full of joy and wonder... and theatre. Lots and lots of theatre.
MRS. BOB CRATCHIT'S WILD CHRISTMAS BINGE plays Sam Bass Community Theatre at 600 N. Lee St, Round Rock, 78664 now thru December 29th. Performances are Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets are $13 on Thursdays and $15-$18 on Fridays thru Sundays. For tickets and more information, please visit www.sambasstheatre.org