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World Premiere Of ESTELLA SCROOGE: A Christmas Carol With A Twist, Streaming Via The Wallis

Available Monday, December 21, 2020 through Sunday, January 3, 2021.

World Premiere Of ESTELLA SCROOGE: A Christmas Carol With A Twist, Streaming Via The Wallis

Just in time for the holidays, Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts brings audiences a magical musical, created with new cutting-edge technology, that is sure to become new a holiday tradition - the World Premiere of Estella Scrooge: A Christmas Carol with a Twist.

The production features a cast of 24 award-winning Broadway notables, and is the creation of John Caird, (the Tony and Olivier Award-winning director of Les Misérables and Nicholas Nickleby), and Tony Award nominee Paul Gordon (Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice). Caird and Gordon also paired to create Daddy Long Legs, which played at numerous regional theatres throughout the country and in four countries before enjoying a successful Off-Broadway run for which Caird received a Drama Desk. Estella Scrooge is available for streaming from Monday, December 21, 2020 through Sunday, January 3, 2021, and tickets are now on sale at TheWallis.org/Scrooge.

Estella Scrooge is the first digital theater piece filmed entirely during the pandemic, utilizing cutting-edge technology. The fully-realized production, a dazzlingly cinematic musical theater adventure, was filmed using tracked green-screen techniques, with 3-D surreal digital environments created in post-production and merged with the actors' actual footage to bring the story to life in a brand-new way.

Betsy Wolfe (Waitress) stars as Estella, a descendent of her famous great-great-great-great-grandfather Ebenezer. Clifton Duncan (The Play That Goes Wrong) stars as Philip 'Pip' Nickleby. 2020 Tony Award nominee Lauren Patten (Jagged Little Pill) stars as Dawkins. The production also stars Tony Award nominees Patrick Page (Hadestown) as Mr. Merdle, Carolee Carmello (Parade) as Marla Havisham and Danny Burstein (2020 Tony Award Nominee, Moulin Rouge!) as Ebenezer Scrooge.

The story follows Estella Scrooge, a modern-day Wall Street tycoon with a penchant for foreclosing. A hotelier in her hometown of Pickwick, Ohio has defaulted on his mortgage and Estella fancies the idea of lowering the boom personally. Arriving at Harthouse on Christmas Eve, Estella discovers that the defaulting party is her childhood friend Pip Nickleby (Duncan). A good and generous soul, Pip has transformed the property into a refuge for the sick, dispossessed and homeless. A freak snowstorm forces Estella to take refuge. That night, just as it happened to her ancestor Ebenezer, she is haunted by three visitations...and oh, what uninvited houseguests they are! A modern day take on Charles Dickens' beloved 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol, Estella Scrooge also wittily incorporates characters and plot lines from Dickens' other great novels, Great Expectations, Little Dorrit and Bleak House, among others.

Estella Scrooge is produced by Streaming Musicals in association with Michael Jackowitz of Witzend Productions, Michael Alden and David Bryant. Executive Producers are Jeffrey Grove and Kevin Surace and for StreamingMusicals, Tom Polum and Stacia Fernandez. Co-Executive Producers are Jeffrey Grove, Allan Herzog and Dawn Smalberg/Bev Ragovoy. It was originally developed over two holidays seasons at Rubicon Theatre Company in Ventura (Karyl Lynn Burns and James O'Neil, Artistic Directors), with further development and support from Rhinebeck Writers' Retreat.

The cast also includes Megan McGinnis (Little Women) as Betty Cratchit, Adam Halpin (Dear Evan Hansen) as Bob Cratchit, Sarah Litzsinger (Beauty and the Beast) as Sissy Jupe, Tom Nelis (The Visit) as Dedlock, Em Grosland (Emotional Creature) as Smike, Phoenix Best (Dear Evan Hansen) as Charity & Mercy, David Bryant (Original Marius in Broadway's Les Misérables) as Mr. Podsnap, Gabrielle Reid (Beautiful: The Carol King Musical) as Mrs. Pumblechook, Samuel Lee Roberts (Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular) as Mr. Flopson, Michael Francis McBride (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater) as Mr. Dombey, Michele Lee (Nutcracker Rouge) as Mrs. Noggs, Kristen Faith Oei (The King and I) as Ms. Skiffins, Meg Gibson (The Gabriels) as Molly, William Youmans (Wicked) as Magwitch & Bagstock, Kevyn Morrow (Moulin Rouge!) as Jasper Jaggers, Joziyah Jean-Felix (The Lion King) as Young Pip, Brooklyn Shuck ("Evil") as Young Essy and Willow McCarthy (The Ferryman) as Tiny Tammy.

According to The Wallis' Artistic Director Paul Crewes, "Created during a pandemic world, Estella Scrooge's modern reimagining of a classic story, with a remarkable cast and direction from one of the theater world's great directors, speaks to the world we are now, but offers hope at the end."

Director/co-book writer John Caird says, "I'm so happy to bring this new musical to life in the midst of these mad and maddening times. The creative team nimbly learned new techniques to bring the actors and their characters together. It's wonderful to provide employment for the theatre community while we enliven the classic Christmas Carol story, refashioned with a new twist for today. At a time of great conflict and hardship, I hope we can shine a little ray of optimism into the surrounding darkness."

Co-book writer/composer Paul Gordon adds, "This piece was a joy to create, from the first beat of the idea to the culmination of the film. Discovering how these Dickensian characters (from different novels) would interact together and tell a cohesive story with a distinct musical voice was both a challenge and a thrill. I believe in finding new ways of sharing the magic of musical theatre with the world and now it's more important than ever to escape for a few hours with a message of love and hope. I'm proud to be part of this creative team and to bring our community together in a responsible way during these challenging times."

According to Producer Jackowitz, "Estella Scrooge was born after a conversation with our Executive Producer Kevin Surace. We thought, 'wouldn't it be great if there was a way to shoot something in a safe, isolated fashion, but put everyone together in the same frame?' An experiment was done to test the concept and push the boundaries. Was it possible to shoot an entire musical this way? The answer was YES and what audiences will see are the fruits of that exciting labor."

For over three years, Streaming Musicals has been creating content that is a hybrid between theatre and film, with in-theatre and soundstage captures that provide worldwide access to musicals that would not be as widely seen otherwise.

In April, over 160,000 people watched the premiere of Streaming Musicals' production of Paul Gordon's musical adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Executive Producer Tom Polum said, "Streaming Musicals is pleased to be a part of this groundbreaking new approach to recording an original musical. This incredibly talented and inventive team of artists have fashioned a story that is not only a reflection of our times, but a nod to great iconic figures of the past. The cutting-edge technology utilized in Estella Scrooge will create dazzling moments that will make viewers feel like they are in the 10th row of a theatre."

Estella Scrooge features musical supervision by Brad Haak (Mary Poppins), choreography by Natalie Lomonte (Every Woman Biennial) and casting by Tara Rubin Casting (Dear Evan Hansen). Director of photography and editor is Tyler Milliron (Streaming Musicals' Pride and Prejudice), production art design is by Zach Wilson (Beauty and the Beast), costume design is by Somie Pak ("Mélange"), hair and makeup design is by Dena Olivieri (Forbidden Steps) and props design is by Katherine White (Streaming Musicals' Marry Harry).

The three-year-old Streaming Musicals is dedicated to presenting new, original musical theatre content, bringing live theatre to international audiences. The productions are filmed on theatrical and sound stages in high definition video and sound. Streaming Musicals also supports the creative artists who provide the site's content with a revolutionary profit-sharing model.

Streaming Musicals is made up of a group of artists who want to make it easier for audiences to watch musicals and plays. They do it because they love theatre and want to share it with the world. The company captures the magic of theatre on film and bring it directly to viewer's devices. The company focuses on storytelling, character, and music. The company has also pioneered revolutionary new profit-sharing models that support the artists. StreamingMusicals.com.

Tickets are $29.99 for 72-hour viewing for each household, or $44.99 for a VIP Premium Theatre Experience, which includes unlimited viewings, a download of the CD and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage. Once purchased, audience members receive a promo code for viewing which is entered, along with the customer's e-mail address, at StreamingMusicals.com. Once activated, customers are set up with a free account for viewing on multiple devices. For further information about Estella Scrooge and to purchase tickets, please visit TheWallis.org/Scrooge.



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