Seeing Bah Humbug! in the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts recently saw a wonderful and inspiring theatrical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol unfold. Reconceived as a staged reading and musical event the Dickens’ timeless story remains relevant today, especially in light of parallels between the economic disparities of Victorian London and Vancouver’s DTES.
Directed by Max Reimer, Artistic Managing Director, Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company, the 2011 Bah! Humbug! featured award-winning actor Jay Brazeau as the irascible Ebenezer Scrooge, First Nations actor Margo Kane as the narrator. Juno-award winning musician and actor Jim Byrnes as Jacob Marley, and gospel and blues singer/actor Tom Pickett as Bob Cratchit. These Vancouver favourites were joined by a cast of professional and DTES community actors, multiple instrumentalist Joseph ‘Pepe’ Danza, and the Saint James Music Academy Youth Choir. Music direction is by Neil Weisensel, with music drawn from a modern songbook of pop songs, folk, blues, gospel and industrial rock along with seasonal favourites.
Commissioned and co-produced by SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs in partnership with Vancouver Moving Theatre, Bah! Humbug! is a benefit for the community arts in the Downtown Eastside and the Heart of the City Festival.