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Theater review: 'Bob Cratchit and Mr. Tightwad' at Secret Rose

December 14, 2011 |  4:30 pm

Here's one Dickens didn't think of: the Ghost of Good Intentions Unrealized, encountered in a musical remake of "A Christmas Carol" called "Bob Cratchit and Mr. Tightwad."

Katrina Wood, daughter of British film actor Percy Herbert, wrote the adaptation and songs. She has some promising ideas, as when a pair of ragpickers, stealing Scrooge's house clean in Christmas Yet to Come, break into a jaunty music hall turn. 

But the songs, a stylistic hodgepodge, are rudimentary to the point of tunelessness, accompanied by tinny, prerecorded instrumental tracks. Scrooge (Chas Mitchell) can't transform when he's so unintimidating from the start, nor can pace or purposefulness be detected anywhere else in Trace Oakley's staging.

And then there are all the jokey anachronisms. The Ghost of Christmas Present is not from Dickens' present but from ours, yet her spiky hair and sound are more Joan Jett than Katy Perry. The joke is three decades out of date. Scary. 

-- Daryl H. Miller

"Bob Cratchit and Mr. Tightwad," a rental production at Secret Rose Theatre, 11246 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. Schedule varies; for details check or (800) 838-3006. $20. Running time: 1 hour, 15 minutes.

Photo: Chas Mitchell, left, as Scrooge and Jim Cox as the ghost of Jacob Marley in "Bob Cratchit and Mr. Tightwad." Credit: David Sprague / Put the Kettle On Productions