MRS. BOB CRATCHIT'S WILD CHRISTMAS BINGE Plays New City Stage Company, 11/30-12/23


New City Stage Company has announced the second show of its 2012-13 season, the Philadelphia premiere of Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge, written by Christopher Durang and directed by Michael K. Brophy.

This farcical take on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is part of New City Stage's 7th season, entitled The New American Dysfunctional Family. This is the first time the show is being performed in the city of Philadelphia and the first musical produced by New City Stage. This is also the largest cast and production to ever be staged by New City. The play and lyrics are written by Pulitzer and Tony nominee Christopher Durang, who is also a resident of Bucks County, Penn. The brand new musical score has been composed by Pat Lamborn and the show is being choreographed by New City Stage's Artistic Director Ginger Dayle.

Performances will be held November 30 through December 23, 2012 at the Adrienne Theater Main Stage at 2030 Sansom Street in downtown Philadelphia. Opening night is December 1 at 8 PM. Tickets are $10 - 35 and available at and by calling the box office at 215-563-7500.

The premise of this parody is the question: "What if Dickens' Mrs. Cratchit wasn't so goody-goody, but instead was an angry, stressed-out modern-day American woman who wanted out of this harsh 1840s London life?"

In Durang's giddy version of the beloved holiday classic, the Ghost's magic is off, and Scrooge and the Ghost keep showing up at Bob Cratchit's house way too early. Mrs. Bob Cratchit, a minor character in the original story, takes center stage here. No longer loving and long suffering, Mrs. Bob is in a rage: She's sick of Tiny Tim (the goody-goody crippled child), she hates her 20 other children (most of them confined to the root cellar), and she wants to get drunk and jump off London Bridge. Scrooge's exclamations of "Bah, humbug!" are an undiagnosed "kind of seasonal Tourette's Syndrome," and the Dickens tale of redemption and gentle grace is placed squarely on its head.

A mix of It's a Wonderful Life, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and an original jazzy 1960s-style score make this new holiday show an instant classic.

This rowdy production is hosted by Bad Santa and the Queen Elf from the Land of Misfit Toys. Stay afterward for apple cider, a Christmas carol sing-along led by the cast, and to have your photo taken with Santa. A fun show for adults and children alike.

The show stars Paul L. Nolan as Scrooge and Sam Henderson as Bob Cratchit, who also both starred in last winter's production of Mr. Durang's Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them. Mr. Nolan, a Delaware native who often works at the Walnut Street Theatre, most recently appeared in their fall production of the British musical Love Story, and Mr. Henderson played the title role in Lantern Theater's sold out hit New Jerusalem, The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 1656. Kittson O'Neill makes her New City Stage debut playing Mrs. Bob Cratchit. She was also featured in New Jerusalem and is currently starring as 1950s model and photographer Lee Miller in Behind the Eye with Gas & Electric Arts.

Award-winning Philadelphia stage actress Amanda Schoonover is playing the iconic role of Tiny Tim. This is her fourth appearance with New City Stage, and she is most well known for her roles in Tracy Letts' Killer Joe with Theatre Exile and Charlotte's Web at the Arden Theatre. Lauren Fitzgerald, was an Acting Apprentice at the Walnut Street Theatre, and moved to Philadelphia after graduating for the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, is playing the Ghost, a character that actually serves as the ghost for Christmas Past, Present and Future.

Supporting players making their New City Stage debut are John Zak, Isa St. Clair, and Megan Slater. Robert Daponte, who played the title role in New City Stage's highly acclaimed When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder? (also directed by Michael Brophy) plays multiple characters as well.

The ensemble consists of young local upcoming actors in Philadelphia, all making their New City Stage debut: University of the Arts student Madeline Kolker and alumni Annie Such, Temple University alumni R.J. Magee, University of Pennsylvania alumni Kevin Rodden, and Monmouth University alumni Lizzie Spellman.

Michael Brophy is directing for the third time for New City Stage, most recently staging the Philadelphia premiere of Christopher Durang's Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them last December. Artistic Directors Russ Widdall and Ginger Dayle host the show as a disgruntled St. Nick and elf from the Land of Misfit Toys. They provide audience participation improv segments before the show and during intermission as well as lead the Christmas carol singalong after the show. Mr. Widdall recently starred in New City's sold out production of RFK, which will appear at the 2013 Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, D.C. Ms. Dayle, a seasoned dancer who has performed with Pennsylvania Ballet and the Royal Ballet of London, is choreographing, a first for her with the company she founded. She can be seen in the spring on NBC's hit musical show Smash as a featured dancer. Pat Lamborn, a Doylestown, PA native, recent Temple University graduate, and multi-faceted musician makes his professional theatrical debut with this production. He composed and arranged the musical selections to go along with Mr. Durang's lyrics, and also engineered the soundtrack recording.

New City Stage Company, founded in 2006, is dedicated to presenting high quality professional theatre that engages audiences on a variety of levels; not only entertaining them but also encouraging awareness of issues relevant to the community. We draw our season from contemporary and classical works, with a special focus on including Philadelphia premiers from playwrights whose work and stories are not normally found in the region.

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