Brad Wages takes on iconic role of Ebenezer Scrooge in Venice Theatre's "A Christmas Carol"

Brad Wages takes on iconic role of Ebenezer Scrooge in Venice Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol.”

Venice Theatre is proud to present the 19th annual production of its original musical adaptation of “A Christmas Carol.”

This delightful version of Charles Dickens’ classic story was commissioned by Venice Theatre in 2000. It features a score by the late E. Suzan Ott; book, lyrics and new music by Scott Keys with new music arranged and scored by the late Jason Brenner; and for 2018, two brand-new songs by Eli Schildkraut.

Experiencing Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey through Christmas past, present and future has become an annual holiday tradition for many people in the community. This year’s performances are Dec. 14 through Thursday, Dec. 20. All shows are at 7:30 p.m. except Sunday’s performance which is at 2 p.m. Tickets are $22 for adults, $15 for college students and $12 for students through 12th grade. They can be purchased online at VeniceStage.com or by calling the box office at 941-488-1115.

Venice Theatre’s Producing Executive Director Murray Chase is directing “A Christmas Carol” for the 17th consecutive year. Music Director Michelle Kasanofsky has also been involved with the production for 17 years. Although many cast members have also been a part of the production for years (often playing new roles as they get older), the theatre is excited to introduce a new Scrooge: director, choreographer, teacher and performer, Brad Wages.

Wages, who has directed and choreographed many of Venice Theatre’s most successful musicals including the current hit South Pacific says, “Scrooge has been a bucket-list role for me. One of the first full-length shows I remember being in was A Christmas Carol when I was about nine or ten years old. I’ve played Young Scrooge and Cratchit and now I’m ready for Ebenezer Scrooge. I’ve always loved the inspiring message of A Christmas Carol, so I’m excited to look at it through new eyes.”

Chase says, “In addition to a new star of the show, we’re including two wonderful new songs from Eli Schildkraut. Eli began performing at Venice Theatre as a kid and moved on to music directing shows when he was just 13. Now he’s a student at Berklee College of Music and he’s become part of our creative team via Skype and emails. I’m very happy with his songwriting.”

Audiences will see quite a few changes in the look and feel of the production with new scenic, lighting and sound designs. Chase explains, “Of course the heart of Dickens’ story remains the same, but we’ve got some magical surprises in store.”

The Edmund and Elizabeth Campbell Family and Education Foundation and Stephenson Eye Associates are generously sponsoring the production.

Tickets are available at 941-488-1115 or VeniceStage.com. The theatre is located at 140 W. Tampa Ave. on the island in Venice.

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