World Premiere of SCROOGE AND THE GHOSTLY SPIRITS Opens Next Month at Citadel Theatre
Charles Dickens's A CHRISTMAS CAROL will be presented from a new perspective when Citadel Theatre presents the world premiere of SCROOGE AND THE GHOSTLY SPIRITS - an entirely new musical adaptation by Chicago-based playwright and composer Douglas Post of the Dickens classic.
This new musical opening Friday, November 17 was commissioned by Citadel from Post, who has written and composed the scores for ten previous musicals, including THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS, which has enjoyed more than 250 productions around the world. Post has also written 12 non-musical plays that have had full professional productions. His most recent plays to be produced in Chicago are FORTY-TWO STORIES (City Lit Theater) and BLOODSHOT (Greenhouse Theatre Center).
Leading the cast as Scrooge will be Frank Farrell, the veteran Chicago actor, director and playwright who played the role previously in Citadel's 2011 non-musical production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Farrell, who founded Theatre Hikes at Morton Arboretum in 1999 and served as that company's artistic director until 2010, has directed Citadel's summer Shakespeare productions for the past three years, plus a summer production of SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY in 2016.
Citadel Artistic Director Scott Phelps is directing the production, with string and vocal arrangements by Chuck Larkin, music direction by Benjamin Nichols and choreography by Ann Delaney. Phelps says, "the production will be one of our most elaborate ever, with gorgeous sets, costumes and lighting; but it will be driven more by text and character than by special effects. Doug's songs and dialogue return to the heart of Dickens's original humanist message of kindness and generosity, and we're promising audiences a show that will be both entertaining and uplifting."
Post's all-new score of 17 musical numbers pays homage to 19th Century English songs in a highly theatrical way. Post says, "the first song that came to me, and it practically wrote itself, is called 'Mankind Was My Business.' It's Jacob Marley's lament to Scrooge that in life, Marley neglected his 'business' of concern for others." The score will be performed acoustically and feature a three-piece orchestra of a piano and two strings.
Joining Farrell in the cast will be Catherine Athenson, Emiko Chichester, Luke Chichester, Erik Dohner, Jesse Dornan, Eric Deutz, Samantha Erne, Matthew Philip Johnston, Kosta Kapsalis, Coco Kasperowicz, Rebecca Keeshin, Courtney Miller, Preston O'ffill, Asher Ramaly, Will Rogers, Maddie Sachs, Natalie Santoro, Nolan Smeds, and Monica Szaflik.
The production team will include David Davis (Set Designer), Sandie Bacon (Scenic Artist), Diane D. Fairchild (Lighting Designer), Paul Kim (Costume Designer), Devon Green (Properties Manager), Bob Boxer (Sound), Catherine Gillespie (Dialect Coach), Lynn Baber (Director), Will Rogers (Production Manager), Samantha Tink (Stage Manager), and Mack Anderson (Technical Director).
The Press Opening is Friday, November 17 at 8:00pm at Citadel's West Campus Theatre at 300 S. Waukegan Rd., Lake Forest, following previews on Wednesday, November 15 and Thursday, November 16 at 7:30pm. SCROOGE AND THE GHOSTLY SPIRITS will run November 17 through December 23, 2017. The complete performance schedule is listed below. Citadel Theatre (300 S. Waukegan Rd) is a 144-seat venue with a thrust stage and comfortable stadium seating.
Tickets are available online at www.CitadelTheatre.org or over the phone by calling the Citadel Theatre box office at 847.735.8554. Ticket prices for previews are $20.00. Ticket prices for the regular run are $37.50 for Tuesday December 19, and Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; and $40 for Saturdays and Sundays. Discounts are available for seniors, students, theatre industry professionals and groups.
Douglas Post (Book, Music & Lyrics) is a founding member of the Victory Gardens Playwrights Ensemble, teaches playwriting at Chicago Dramatists and serves on the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America. His plays, which include BLOODSHOT, CYNICAL WEATHERS, DROWNING SORROWS, EARTH AND SKY and MURDER IN GREEN MEADOWS; and musicals, which include GOD AND COUNTRY, THE REAL LIFE STORY OF JOHNNY DE FACTO and THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS; have been produced in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Canada, England, Wales, Germany, Austria, Russia and China. He has also been commissioned to write screenplays for Warner Bros. and NBC, teleplays for WMAQ-TV, and several radio adaptations of his scripts. On three occasions, he has been selected to develop his work at the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and once at the O'Neill National Music Theater Conference. He has received the L. Arnold Weissberger Playwriting Award, the Midwestern Playwrights Festival Award, the Cunningham Commission Award, the Blue Ink Playwriting Award and three Playwriting Fellowship Awards from the Illinois Arts Council, and has been nominated for a Jeff Award and an Emmy Award.
IF YOU GO:
SCROOGE AND THE GHOSTLY SPIRITS
Book, Music & Lyrics by Douglas Post
Based on "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens
Directed by Scott Phelps
String and Vocal Arrangements by Chuck Larkin
Music Direction by Benjamin Nichols
Choreography by Ann Delaney
November 15 - December 23, 2017
Press opening Friday, November 17 @ 8 pm
Performances per schedule below
Ticket prices for previews $20 Ticket prices for regular run are.$37.50 for Tuesday December 19, Weds., Thurs., & Fris.; and $40 for Sats. and Suns..
Running time: 90 minutes, no intermission
Discounts available for Seniors, Students, and for Groups of 10 or more.
Citadel Theatre, 300 S. Waukegan Rd., Lake Forest, IL
A world premiere musical based on Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol
Frank Farrell as Scrooge; Catherine Athenson, Emiko Chichester, Luke Chichester, Erik Dohner, Jesse Dornan, Eric Deutz, Samantha Erne, Matthew Philip Johnston, Kosta Kapsalis, Coco Kasperowicz, Rebecca Keeshin, Courtney Miller, Preston O'ffill, Asher Ramaly, Will Rogers, Maddie Sachs, Natalie Santoro, Nolan Smeds, Monica Szaflik
Scott Phelps (Director), Chuck Larkin (String and Vocal Arrangements), Benjamin Nichols (Music Director), Ann Delaney (Choreographer), David Davis (Set Designer), Sandie Bacon (Scenic Artist), Diane D. Fairchild (Lighting Designer), Paul Kim (Costume Designer), Devon Green (Properties Manager), Bob Boxer (Sound), Catherine Gillespie (Dialect Coach), Lynn Baber (Casting Director), Will Rogers (Production Manager), Samantha Tink (Stage Manager), Mack Anderson (Technical Director). Scott Phelps and Kevin Sherman are Citadel's Artistic Director and Managing Director, respectively.
Previews: Wednesday, November 15 and Thursday, November 16 at 7:30pm
Press Opening: Friday, November 17, 2017 at 8:00 pm
Closing Performance: Saturday, December 23 at 1 pm.
Citadel Theatre at 300 S. Waukegan Rd, Lake Forest
Regular Run Tuesday December 19 and Weds., Thurs., & Fris. $37.50, Sats. and Suns. $40.
Discounts available for Seniors, Students, and for Groups of 10 or more.
Citadel Theatre is one of Chicagoland's premier live theatres, producing hundreds of performances annually and inspiring audiences for over 15 years. Founded by Scott and Ellen Phelps in 2002, Citadel Theatre is comprised of its Main Stage performances, its On Tour programs, and its theatre acting classes for children. A proud member of the League of Chicago Theatres and the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff ArtsLink, Citadel Theatre offers a unique intimate theatre experience that transports you to another setting and leaves you feeling exhilarated and wanting more. A recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Citadel can accept tax-deductible donations. For more information, ticketing, and to make a donation, visit Citadel online at www.CitadelTheatre.org.
Pictured: Luke Chichester (left), who will alternate with Henry Kern as Tiny Tim and Frank Farrell (right). Photo by Matt Kurr.