RTP’s ‘Scrooge in Rouge’ offers a twist on a Christmas classic, with some drag
Director Shon Stacy returns for a second run of the wacky take on Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol. The play, well-known mostly in New Orleans, was directed by Stacy at RTP eight years ago featuring the same three actors who will take the stage this holiday season.
“We all made a commitment that we wanted to honor the past show but not regurgitate what we did,” Stacy said. “Eight years later, [the actors] are still finding new brilliant things to bring to the table.”
The play tells the story of a theater company, headlined by “world renowned male impersonator Vesta Virile” (played by Lauren Leinhaas-Cook). The backstory to the play is that the night before the show that the audience was supposed to see, 17 of the 20 actors got sick at a cast party; consequently, the ones remaining are forced to perform the roles of all 20 actors among the three of them.
The result is a production of what Stacy calls “controlled chaos,” full of continuously messy and chaotic costume changes and “behind the scenes drama” between Virile and her co-star Lottie Obligato (played by Steven Boschen).
“The two dressers we have are kind of the unsung heroes of the show,” Stacy said. “They are doing so much work and you never see them, but it’s built to be that way.”
The stage at Richmond Triangle Players is arranged to look like a pre-vaudeville, Victorian era English-style theater, complete with dramatic floor lighting to create the old-school feel of theater in the days of Charles Dickens.
To Stacy, “Scrooge in Rouge” offers a chance for them to play with the worn-out conventions of the Christmas Carol storyline that audiences would have come to expect, complete with the visits of the three ghosts of Christmases past, present and future.
“You have more liberty in a play that people are more familiar with,” Stacy said. “I think it opens up a real great freedom of having the story within the confines that you know, and then us taking risks and chances outside of what you don’t know.”
Reviving a play already directed and starred in by the same people offers the cast and crew a chance to redeem themselves for the things that went wrong the first time around. Halfway through their first run, Steven Boschen broke his collarbone and Stacy had to take over the role of Obligato. Among other issues that arise when doing a play, this second time around has been much smoother for the cast and crew.
“Christmas on crack”; those are the three words that Stacy would use to describe “Scrooge in Rouge.”
“It’s a good holiday-feel fun show,” he said. “It’s within a story that you know that you’re able to take so many great and silly chances.”
“Scrooge in Rooge” opens at Richmond Triangle Players Wed., Nov. 16 and will run through Dec. 17. Reserved seat tickets ($30 for Fridays and Saturdays evenings at 8:00 pm, $28 for Thursday evenings at 8:00 pm and Sunday matinees at 4:00 pm, with discounts for groups and students can be purchased here.
While narratives on trans rights and issues are starting to appear in the broader media, it is still uncommon for these stories to be painted in a positive light. Often, there will be sad stories of violence or crass comedic comments made against the trans community instead of the breadth of stories that get told [...]April 19, 2017
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