By Mary Boyle
Dickens' A Christmas Carol is a revered, timeless holiday tradition, we can all agree, but sometimes we don't want misty-eyed Christmas magic. Sometimes, we just want to have fun and not be so serious about this whole holiday business, and that is where Scrooge in Rouge comes in. Written by Ricky Graham and Jefferson Turner, Scrooge in Rouge is A Christmas Carol running headlong into Monty Python's Flying Circus, complete with bawdy songs, a dash of gaudy makeup, and plenty of groan-inducing puns that, altogether, make for some seriously silly seasonal fun for grown ups.
A twenty-three person variety act gets cut down to just three when food poisoning strikes at the cast party, but no worries! Charlie (Chris Flieller), Vesta (Elyse Edelman), and Lottie (Nathan Marinan) can handle the whole production, along with their trusty piano player, Alfred (Musical Director Josh Robinson), and their complete irreverence towards Dickens' Christmas classic is as refreshing as it is funny.
Directed by In Tandem's Jane Flieller, this alternative holiday show couldn't get by on jokes alone—these actors can sing! Lottie, played by Nathan Marinan, is particularly impressive: a man with a voice any woman would covet, and a shocking ability to run around in Victorian high-heeled boots! Elyse Edelman's Scrooge is spectacularly condescending, and Chris Flieller is a complete chameleon—his portrayal of Scrooge's nephew is one of the funniest things I've seen on stage all year. The Tenth Street Theatre is an intimate, but casual, space, and the lobby is filled with beautiful live piano music and a variety of fun, fancy cocktails named for the show. In Tandem offers an entirely different kind of holiday spirit with Scrooge in Rouge, but a kind that can be just as valuable.
Scrooge in Rouge runs through January 7th at the Tenth Street Theatre, located at 628 N. 10th Street in Milwaukee. For tickets, go to http://www.intandemtheatre.org, or call (414) 271-1371. In celebration of their 20th Season, In Tandem is bringing back, for one night only, a special fundraising version of A Cudahy Caroler Christmas, which is Chock full of local humor and alternative holiday songs such as “O Bowling Night,” “In The Dells,” and “Do You Smell What I Smell.” In January, join In Tandem for The Chef's Table, an elegant five-course meal and cabaret right on the stage of In Tandem Theatre! Attendees will enjoy wine pairings, appetizers, soup, salad, dinner, dessert, entertainment and the opportunity to play “food critic” for the night, and all attendees are entered to win a $100 Bartolotta gift certificate – winner to be announced before the night ends!
About In Tandem Theatre
In Tandem Theatre, a 501(c)3 nonprofit theatre located in Milwaukee, was founded in 1998 by Chris and Jane Flieller with the commitment to produce exciting, innovative and professional live theatre by presenting creative and eclectic programming that enlightens, inspires, provokes, and entertains a diverse audience in an intimate atmosphere. Its name, In Tandem Theatre, reflects the connection between audience and actor, the audience and the written word – an intimate experience obtained when live audiences are engaged in strong storytelling. In Tandem Theatre is committed to creating innovative, exciting live theatre designed to inspire, enlighten, provoke and entertain a diverse audience through comedy, drama, musicals, classics and new works.