Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chautauqua Celebrates 30th Year for Scrooge

From (L): Rodger Hoopman, Chris Lamb


Northern California’s favorite holiday musical, SCROOGE, will be presented at the Chautauqua Playhouse, 5325 Engle Road in the La Sierra Community Center in Carmichael. This is the 30th year that SCROOGE will be presented during the holiday season. Scrooge will open with a performance at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4th and will continue to play on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Dec. 23. Additional performances will be held at 7 p.m. on Sunday Dec. 13 and 20; on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 21, 22 and 23 at 7 p.m.; and on Thursday, December 17 at 7 p.m. Admission is $15 general and $7 for children age 12 and under. Visit the theatre website at for ticket information and reservations or call the Chautauqua Playhouse at 916 489-7529. Group rates are available.

The original production of SCROOGE opened in 1978 in Cal Expo’s Golden Bear Playhouse, directed by Gary McFadyen and featuring Rodger Hoopman as Scrooge. Since then, SCROOGE has played each holiday season to enthusiastic audiences throughout Northern California.

The current production of SCROOGE, directed by Warren Harrison, will feature a company of local favorites including Chris Lamb, Warren Harrison, Boots Martin and many other local actors, with Rodger Hoopman in the title role for his 30th year.

Sacramento Bee Arts Critic Robert Masullo wrote: "His Scrooge is singular. He’s irascible, inarticulate and mean. Nevertheless and remarkably, he creates something close to sympathy for Scrooge." Bee Arts critic Alfred Kay scribed..."like Carol Channing as Dolly Levi or Yul Brynner as the King of Siam, the local director and actor has made the role his own. He handles it with a depth of fury and bitterness that makes you wonder how Bob Cratchit ever showed up for work." Sacramento Union critic Richard Simon wrote: "Hoopman has polished his conception of Scrooge so the character glows with a patina akin to that of rubbed mahogany. He makes his points both as the misanthrope and miser of Christmas Eve and the philanthropist of Christmas Day with utmost simplicity and directness of speech and gesture." Patricia Beach Smith, Bee Arts Critic, said: "Rodger Hoopman, as the unlikable yet redeemable title character, was a convincing Scrooge in a tour de force part, honed over many years of practice. His transformation from a persnickety old money-grabber to a generous, almost giddy everybody’s uncle, proved his mettle."

The production includes an original musical score by Hoopman and Rob Knable which "weaves about a dozen clever songs through the threads of the original story...making the holiday musical a delight." (Joanne Burkett, Roseville Press Tribune).

“The set captures Dickens' time, place and ambiance. The narrow houses line a narrow street, and though they are rendered on flat canvas, the scene evokes the comforting feeling of an advent calendar and makes one want to open the small windows for the prizes within." (Alfred Kay, Sacramento Bee)

For additional information contact the Chautauqua Playhouse at or call the theatre at (916) 489-7529.

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