A Christmas Carol

A Christmas CarolSynopsis

Book by:  Michael DeMaio
Music by:  Michael DeMaio
Lyrics by:  Michael DeMaio

Act One

Scene One:  It is Christmas Eve in Charles Dickins’ London.  The street is filled with joyful men, women and children reveling in the Christmas spirit.  They are laden with packages, wreaths with red bows and toys.  One or more men is carrying a Christmas tree, or pulling a sleigh with a child on it (“It’s Christmas”).
As the town’s people make their exit, three portly businessmen debate the validity of a rumor concerning the death of a colleague Jacob Marley (“Jacob Marley’s Dead!”).
The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge enters.  When greeted by the businessmen, he passes them with a grunt.

Scene two:  On another Christmas Eve seven years later, Scrooge is in his office at a large wooden desk.  He is counting a large pile of coins and carefully putting them in a sturdy metal box.  Off to one side is his clerk, the meek Bob Cratchit.  Cratchit tries to warm his hands over the meager flame of the candle that is on his small writing table.
In the distance is heard the approach of several singing children.  Upon hearing the Christmas tune, Cratchit smiles and gets off his small chair to listen as the music gets closer (“God Rest You, Merry Gentlemen”).  Scrooge erupts from is seat.   Wielding a large wooden ruler, he angrily chases the children away.  Two men enter.  They exchange cordial greetings with Cratchit.  The men explain to Scrooge that they are collecting for charity.  Scrooge dismisses them with his usual nastiness.  Scrooge’s nephew Fred arrives.  He invites his Uncle to Christmas dinner.  Scrooge refuses, and declares Christmas a waste of time and money (“Humbug!”).
The work day comes to a close.  Cratchit sheepishly asks Scrooge for the next day off observing that it is “only once a year.”  Scrooge grudgingly agrees as he snarls that it is a day of pay for Cratchit with no work,  and that Christmas is a “poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every 25th of December.”
Scrooge leaves.  Cratchit’s mood brightens as the streets once again come to life (“It’s Christmas Reprise”).

Scene three:  Scrooge walks down a dark street and hears the sound of an ominous, ghostly voice moaning his name.  He thinks he is hearing things.

Scene four:  Scrooge enters his living room in his night gown and cap.  He is still hearing the wailing of the terrible voice.  Suddenly appears the ghost of his friend and former business partner Jacob Marley.  Marley’s ghost explains to Scrooge that he has been put on earth to help Scrooge redeem himself from his sinful ways (“Lonely Am I”) and that he will be visited by three more spirits who will also attempt to redeem him.  Scrooge refuses to believe his eyes and ears as he falls asleep on the large armchair that he is sitting on.
He is slowly awakened by the sound of a lovely voice (“The Ghost of Christmas Past”).  The ghost explains to Scrooge that it is there to show Scrooge some events of his past life.  Scrooge reluctantly agrees to accompany the ghost.
Appearing on the other side of the stage is Scrooge as a young boy sitting at a school desk.  With him is his chum Tom.  The young Scrooge tells Tom that he is not going home for Christmas because his father does not want him to.
Next enters Scrooge’s young sister Fan.  She glows with the lovely innocence of a child.  She tells the young Scrooge that their father wants him to come home.  The young Scrooge is overjoyed by the prospect (“He’s My Brother, He’s My Friend”).
The stage comes to life with a crowd of people at a Christmas party.  It is the establishment of Old Mr. Fezziwig, Scrooge’s very first employer.  The fiddler is playing and the people are joyously dancing and singing (“Mr. Fezziwig’s Christmas Ball”).  The older Scrooge becomes caught up in the fun and declares to the ghost: “the fun that Mr. Fezziwig provided cost but a trifle, but the joy it brought us was as if it was worth a fortune.”  For the first time Scrooge begins to see the error of his ways.
From the darkness on the other side of the stage appears a lovely young girl.  It is Elizabeth, Scrooge’s one time betrothed.  She sadly explains to the now 20 year old Scrooge that she no longer loves him, as their lives have gone in different directions.  “A golden idle has possessed you” she cries (“He’s Not the Man”).  The older Scrooge sobs with his head in his hands.  The Ghost of Christmas Past slowly fades away.

Scene five:  The stage become luminous as the thundering music begins.  Scrooge is startled by the imposing figure of the Ghost of Christmas Present (“The Ghost of Christmas Present”).
Next we find ourselves at another Christmas party.  It is the warm and inviting home of Scrooge’s nephew Fred.  At the party are Fred, his wife, his friend Topper and his girl.  Fred is regaling his guests with the story of how his crabby old Uncle Scrooge did not accept his dinner invitation (“A Toast to Uncle Scrooge”).
The ghost points to the far side of the stage.  We see the Cratchit family gathered at the hearth.  They are Martha, Belinda, Peter, Mrs. Cratchit and the crippled little Tiny Tim.  Bob suggests that they have a toast to the man who has provided the means for their dinner.  The employer, Mr. Scrooge.  The family is appalled:  “why should we drink to that mean old man?”  Tiny Tim points out that we should be kind to all people; especially at Christmas (“God Bless Us All, Everyone”).
Scrooge becomes overwhelmed with emotion as act one comes to a close.

Act Two

Scene one:  The rise of the curtain reveals Scrooge lying at center stage.  He vents his emotions for the first time (“Why?”).  Out of the darkness appears the terrifying Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.  The ghost does not speak.  It will only point with its boney, white hand.  Three businessmen appear. They are discussing the death of a colleague.  They agree that they would not go to his funeral, but may go only if a lunch is provided.   Scrooge recognizes the men as colleagues and wonders why he is not with them as he usually is.  A man and wife appear.  The man explains to his wife that a person who has lent them money has died.  They are relieved because the debt will be transferred to someone else, and that the new creditor “could never be such a merciless creditor as he was.”  Scrooge wonders who they are speaking of.
Amongst a pile of rusted metal, old crates, and dirty rags of clothing we see Old Joe.  He is dressed in rags and has a corn cob pipe in his mouth.  Old Joe is a fencer of stolen goods.  Scrooge’s house keeper, Mrs. Dilber enters.  She is carrying a large sack.  Old Joe opens up the sack.  “’ow much,” asks Mrs. Dilber.  Old Joe is concerned about the origin of the bed curtains that he takes out of the large sack.  He is shocked to learn that Mrs. Dilber took them off  “the poor wretched death bed…with ‘m lyin’ there.”  Old Joe is impressed with Mrs. Dilber’s nerve (“A Lady Who’s a Man After Me Own Heart”).  Scrooge still does not know who all these people are speaking of.  He questions why they can be so calloused about a man’s death.  He wants to know if all death is like this.
We are back at the Cratchit home.  All are present with the exception of Tiny Tim.  The family grieves as Bob describes the lovely place where he promised Tiny Tim he would visit him on Sundays.  The family sobs as the plaintive voice of Tiny Tim is heard off stage
(“God Bless Us All, Everyone Reprise”).
The ghost points and reveals a grave stone with the name “Ebenezer Scrooge” on it.  Horrified, Scrooge falls to his knees and pleads with the ghost that he is not the man he was.

Scene two:  When the lights come up, Scrooge is once again in the chair where he fell asleep.  He joyously proclaims that he is a changed man and that it could not have been a dream.  He will honor Christmas for the rest of his life.

Scene three:  The street is once again crowded with happy town’s people (“It’s Christmas 2nd Reprise”).  Scrooge enters.  Everyone gets silent when Scrooge lets out a tentative merry Christmas.  Scrooge confesses that he has been wrong and that he is a changed man.  “Come and see me anytime,” he sincerely asks (“God Bless Us All, Everyone 2nd Reprise”).

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