It’s ‘Scrooge,’ complete with a nostalgic local twist

Published 11:32 am Friday, December 1, 2023

Special to the American Press

The Lake Charles Little Theatre is staging the musical “Scrooge” this weekend at its production partner, Southlake Theatre.

It’s a show within a show. It has all the favorite songs from the popular “Scrooge” film and stage show, plus a nostalgic local twist.

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The production is being staged as if it’s an old-time radio show, with theatregoers taking part as a live “studio audience.” The crowd will be transported back to 1950 in Lake Charles, where they’ll watch notable local people of yesteryear “perform” the show at the KPLC-AM radio studio, which was housed inside the fabled Majestic Hotel in downtown Lake Charles.

While the setting is 1950 Lake Charles, the actual performance of “Scrooge” remains the tuneful Victorian classic, with such famous Leslie Bricusse-penned songs as “Thank You Very Much,” “December the 25th” and rousing company numbers that are variously ghostly, poignant and uplifting.

The show is one weekend only — this Friday through Sunday. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available at and at the door.

The cast members range from accomplished local performers to LCLT first-timers.

Greg Stratton is Scrooge, with Cary Martin as Bob Cratchit, Clay Hebert as Jacob Marley, Angela Martin as the Ghost of Christmas Past and Michael Davis as the Ghost of Christmas Present.

Also featured are Heather Partin and Adley Cormier as narrators; Juliet Riviere, Belle LeDay, Lilly Brady, Heather Foreman and Shireen Santhanasamy as leading company members and vocalists; and Layla Fontenot, Ashe Wolski, Richie Hebert  Chelsea Klumpp,  and brothers Noah and Jonah Hebert in key character roles.

There also are live sound effects created onstage in the old-time radio style. Joy Pace and Leslie Harless are the cast members and “foley artists” who will slam doors, clank chains, clink glasses and tap clock chimes to accompany the onstage action. There are even “on air” and “applause” sign to simulate what it was like to attend a radio program of yesteryear. At the same time, the state-of-the-art Southlake Theater will feature special video effects and digital scenery to bring visuals to the words.

The late local celebrities who are portrayed by the LCLT cast members are a name-check of Lake Charles history. They include arts greats Rosa Hart, Anita Tritico, Nellie Lutcher and William Kushner; civic leaders Doretha Combre and former Gov. Sam Jones; broadcasters Reid Tyler and Garf Macdonald (who “stars” as Scrooge); and educators W.O. Boston, Daniel Ieyoub, Inez Schindler and Marjorie Wilson.

Brett Downer is the director of the show, which is part of LCLT’s 97th anniversary season. Future shows are the annual live KBYS-FM broadcast of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” directed by Michael Davis in December and “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” directed by Adley Cormier, in early 2024.