‘Ebenezer Scrooge’ comes to town with a cast of 55 | NevadaAppeal.com

‘Ebenezer Scrooge’ comes to town with a cast of 55

by Sam Bauman
Appeal Entertainment Editor
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Karenza Strode, 13, rehearses for "Ebenezer Scrooge - Jazz'd up like the Dickens," at the danceSpirit Performing Arts studio in Carson City Wednesday. Strode is an eighth-grade student at Eagle Valley Middle School.

You don’t stage a Christmas ballet show on the spur of the moment.

“We held tryouts in June and started rehearsals in August, every Saturday except for holidays,” said danceSpirit president Darin Tedford. “Everyone who tried out got a role.”

That means 55 youths and adults are in the studio’s “Ebenezer Scrooge – Jazz’d up Like the Dickens” ballet.

That’s a lot of people to move around the stage on time, the job of artistic director Sandi Scheer, who has done this before and enjoys it.

The ballet already played in Virginia City on Dec. 1, but 6 p.m. Saturday in the Carson Community Center is the Capital City’s turn. The show will be repeated 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $18 for adults and $10 for children and seniors. Call 884-1066.

Don’t worry about having to sit through the same old Christmas carols. The music ranges from the Rolling Stones to Pink Floyd and lots in between.

Dancer Julie Tedford, who has two children in the show and a third in the wings, explained what the show is all about.

“Anyone who has lived through a Christmas season probably has encountered Ebenezer Scrooge – that miser from Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol,'” she explained. “We start with Scrooge looking back on his past, now that he has been changed for the better by the visits of three ghosts. Then he looks back and we work forward to the present.”

Scheer, of danceSpirit Performing Arts, decided to give Ebenezer a modern look and created “Ebenezer Scrooge – Jazz’d Up Like the Dickens.”

Any show danceSpirit produces, says Scheer, always involves “a full spectrum of dance techniques, plus all ages, male and female, dancers and actors.”

This year’s show touches on the Christmas spirit, about compassion and redemption, said Scheer. It’s based on the Dickens story, of course, and offers both narration and dance.

Scrooge will be played by Malcolm Hunt as an adult, by Bill Bray as middle-aged Scrooge and by Zachary White as the young Scrooge. Tiny Tim will become Tiny Tina, performed by Astrid Espinoza of Carson City. Children leads are Jessica Mottram, Heather Hall, Kayla Kennison and Lilly Ezell. In “Prayer of the Children,” ChyAnn Campbell, Summer Steel and Sarah Stenger take the honors.

Belle, young Scrooge’s fiancee, is Karenza Strode. Tireless Bob Cratchet is Darin Tedford. Mrs. Cratchet is Lucy Hunt and Jacob Marley is Skip Canfield. Ghosts are Bethany White, Chyenne Kiser and Allie Ezell. Angles of Mercy are played by Brittany Campbell, Kaytlain Densford, Jordan Van Worth and Hayley Canfield.

Then there’s the rest of the 55-person cast, all involved and talented. Don’t worry about keeping them straight – the program will help.

Choreographers are Scheer, Staci Dunlap, Kathleen Barton and Robin Kato.

“The show is just one more step for me,” said Scheer. “Because the story is so real and appropriate for this day and age, I hope people will come and see what the true meaning of Christmas is.”

There’s an intermission, allowing both the cast and the audiences to catch a breath. The ballet ends with all 55 cast members on stage for “Brand New Day.”

On your toes, everybody.

• Contact Sam Bauman at sbauman@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1236.

If you go

WHAT: “Ebenezer Scrooge – Jazz’d Up Like the Dickens,” a dance and drama version of the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol”

WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.

TICKETS: $18 for adults, $10 for children ages 8 and younger and seniors. Call 884-1066 or visit danceSpirit at 951 N. Stewart St., Suite C.