Joy of Scrooge

The weirdest performance ever on the stage of Barter Theatre, Abingdon, VA.

Here's the play script:

[Scrooge, who does all the talking] Hello, Scrooge and Cratchit here.

 Just remember: As in everything connected with the Ghost of Xmas Yet to Come, what you’re experiencing right now is a hallucination designed to change your behavior.

 What you are about to hear doesn’t have to happen in real life.

 If you will only reform your ways!

 You see, what we have here is a failure to punctuate.

 Look at your program.

 See the placement of that comma in the title of our first song?

 “God rest you comma merry gentlemen.”

 One doubts that any of you is horrified.

 The GXYC is horrified.

 It’s supposed to be “God rest you merry comma gentlemen.”

 Upon the placement of that comma rests an entire understanding of the nature of the holiday and indeed of divinity.

 God rest you?

 What, is God in the mattress business now? No!

 God rest you Merry! God rest you Merry! God rest you Merry!

 … gentlemen …

 and ladies.

 OK now we’re going to play it for you so you can wake up to the joy of Scrooge.

[Scrooge and Cratchit play God Rest You Merry on oboe and bassoon]

[Scrooge] OK, drama about a comma.

You know, it’s not widely known that Dickens had a fourth Christmas ghost, between Ghosts 2 and 3, variously known in his manuscripts as the Ghost of Christmas 2.5, the Ghost of Christmas What Were They Thinking, or The Ghost of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me as a Test of Our Relationship.

I have never personally met this Ghost, but I have felt its presence on occasion, such as, apparently, now, because what is this?

Just what I’ve always wanted!

An ironing board with strings.

Nothing like a truly practical gift.

I hope our next song is something you can take home and put to use.

It’s a simple folk blues from the tradition that recognizes that Mary must’ve been one tired mama sometimes that first Christmas, and that her and our own Xmases sometimes need some rocking to keep us going.

It’s easy to learn—one verse, one chorus. I'll sing it a couple of times and then I hope you'll join in so you'll have something to take home with you that you won't have to find room for in the garage.

[Scrooge and Cratchit perform Po'Li'l Jesus on electric lap dulcimer and bassoon].

Jud Barry,
Feb 1, 2013, 6:25 AM