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The North Texas Performing Arts and the Plano Children's Theatre have assembled a great local cast in "Scrooge - The Musical."

This time of year gives me an excuse to indulge in a few of my special holiday creature comforts.

For me, that includes binging on lots of eggnog ice cream, noshing on peppermint bark and watching one or more interpretations of Charles Dickens' beloved classic A Christmas Carol.

My favorites are the 1984 movie of the same name starring George C. Scott; or Scrooged, the 1988 modernized version featuring Bill Murray; and of course, The Muppet Christmas Carol, starring Michael Caine and Kermit the Frog.

The North Texas Performing Arts (NTPA), and its Plano Children’s Theater (PCT) are putting their local twist on this magical tale in Scrooge – The Musical, at the Courtyard Theater Dec. 17-20. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Plano Children's Theatre.

In this, the fifth year presenting this musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic tale, the NTPA and PCT have assembled its very best cast every for this annual tradition.

I was able to get a sneak peek at the production during a dress rehearsal this week.  It was captivating the way the ensemble transformed the stage into a wintry late 19th century London streetscape.

The talented cast includes star of the stage, Gennifer Stratton, who  has performed professionally from New York to Los Angeles.  Other cast members feature one of Critical Rant’s “Top Performers in DFW Metroplex,” and Dallas Observer’s widely acclaimed actor, Chris Rodenbaugh.

Debuting in the role of Marley is Executive Director of Frisco Community Theatre, Howard Korn.  In his fourth year, Darrell Rodenbaugh reprises his title role as Scrooge.  Creative Staff includes director Sara Akers, NTPA Executive Director and Founder and Jenni Word, co-director.

One of the things I appreciate most about the production is that the cast includes several families and individuals from the local community.  It’s great to see parents and kids performing on stage together. And I must admit that I’m particularly fond of the performance by the exuberant toy shop owner “Miss Pringle,” who just happens to be played by my daughter.

The staging choices, along with the large set pieces that transition in and out of several different interior locations, are quite convincing.  Even the costumes are whimsical and the musical performances are full of heartfelt delight.

As an added bonus, theater-goers of all ages at Scrooge – The Musical  will get a “last chance” to meet with Santa at Santa’s workshop before each show.

Every performance begins with a favorite Christmas carol of the cast and audience.  This is followed by special after-show backstage tours featuring photo opportunities with Scrooge and the rest of the cast.

The entire cast and crew has put on a quality production and created a memorable community theater experience for everyone to cherish this season.

Best of all, this year I don’t have to wait for holiday re-runs to enjoy a Dickens classic on TV.  Now, I can watch the story come to life at the Courtyard Theater when Scrooge –The Musical  takes the stage during this special Merry Christmas weekend.

Scrooge - The Musical runs Dec. 17-20 at the Courtyard Theater in Plano, Texas.  For tickets visit: Plano Children's Theatre.

Reprinted fromMommy’s Minivan Monologues

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