From the Press

‘Scrooge’ a holiday experience for all

By Karen Meister

Thank you very much for the ever-popular annual celebration of “Scrooge,” the Christmas Musical at the Spring Lake Theatre.

Every year, for the past 30 years, people from near and far have come to be a part of this spectacular production performed in the elegant and historical Spring Lake Community House [SLCH].

This year is no exception. “Children” of all ages are mesmerized by this 1853 legendary adaptation from the Charles Dickens novel, A Christmas Carol. This holiday tradition has been seen year after year and remains as magical as ever.

The production transforms the audience to another century, the 1800s, in victorian England, where poverty was rampant and the division between the rich and poor was profoundly vast.

Dickens’ own family was sent to debtor’s prison when he was a young boy of twelve, leaving him to survive by working in a factory. He wrote A Christmas Carol in 1843, while being somewhat impoverished himself. The novel was published a week before Christmas, 1843, and has been a classic ever since.

Even though most people know the story of Scrooge, it is just one of those holiday treats that never gets old. Each time I see a rendition of the story, either through a play, song, etc. I understand more of Dickens’ purposes for writing this tale and enjoy it again and again. However, my very favorite is being part of the audience at the Spring Lake Theatre where I am transported back to nineteenth century London.

There are several major themes in this celebration of Christmas and the SLCH does such an excellent job of portraying Dickens’ concerns of poverty, class stratification, capitalism, time, and qualities such as generosity and love.

All of these themes are done to perfection through beautiful music and lyrics, wonderfully spirited acting and choreography. The fantastic costumes and props, great set design, lighting and sound effects add such authenticity to the production, and the remarkable talent of over one hundred cast members of all ages completes the performance.

The main character of Scrooge is so adeptly portrayed by Greg Schweers, while equally adept are the characters of Bob and Ethel Cratchit, played by Derick and Colleen Hulse.

Keegan Foy plays the role of the adorable Tiny Tim and becomes quickly endearing to all.

The three ghosts are so well represented by Emme Anderson [past], Doug Moore [present], and Frank Ryan [future].

There are so many other talented people associated with this production, on and off stage, that I will have to leave it as “Thank you very much” for such an entertaining evening — another memorable one at the Spring Lake Theatre.

Thank you to Pat Barry, producer, for this fantastic presentation each year, along with director, Kerry Baglivio, musical director, Mary Lough, and Colleen Mangan, choreographer and to all the very spirited members of staff and crew for your part in creating another brilliant holiday show.

What a thoughtful gift to give to a special person at this time — one that will be remembered for years to come. Scrooge is now a tradition in our family, and I can’t imagine a Christmas holiday without it.

The play will be at the Spring Lake Community House for three more weekends.

There are evening and matinee performances to choose from. Contact the theatre at or 732-449-4530 for tickets.

Scrooge is a wonderful holiday experience that all ages will enjoy!