The Gospel According to Scrooge | Teen Ink

The Gospel According to Scrooge

December 13, 2010
By WritingLoverForever PLATINUM, Bowling Green, Ohio
WritingLoverForever PLATINUM, Bowling Green, Ohio
32 articles 2 photos 198 comments

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"The Gospel According to Scrooge" has mesmerized large crowds of people from all over Bowling Green with its musical charm for the past 21 years, and returns for its 22nd this year to yet again captivate its audiences with another great show. This amateur musical theater production by Dayspring church is a takeoff of Charles Dickens’ beloved masterpiece, "A Christmas Carol," a story of repentance and keeping the spirit of Christmas alive in our hearts. "The Gospel According to Scrooge" features a wide range of performers, all remarkably talented, utilizing actors and singers of all different ages. It’s one of those shows that you know will never get old no matter how many times you see it, and will always have you in a feel-good mood by the time you leave. It’s a unique production that never fails to disappoint its loyal audiences.

The play opens with a dramatic, joyous dance sequence among all of the townspeople, followed by the introduction of the star of the show, Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Rob Starr. If that previous big opening number hadn’t hooked you onto the show, then seeing Scrooge up on that stage is what did. He’s the phenomenon that makes the show possible. In the second scene of the play, three women of older age approach Scrooge and ask him for a generous donation to the poor by singing their plea in a beautifully harmonious tune. Their voices were practically hypnotizing and I was deeply moved by their sound.

Many of the primary characters in the musical were played by young children, which I think is a nice idea, because it gives those kids a big opportunity to get experience in the music business. I enjoyed watching them perform because it just made me think that they’re growing musically from this experience and will continue to learn more as they get older. For instance, Tiny Tim, played by Shani Estep, had to sing the harmony in a duet with his father’s character which you could tell was a challenge for him, but overall did a wonderful job with. Also, the Angel of Christmas Past was played by a little girl by the name of Annie Valantine whose voice just happened to be so sweet and angelic for her age. She was way ahead of her years, which had a big impression on me.

Scene 6 of the play opened with a cluster of schoolchildren and their teacher, who all sang “It Feels Like Christmas.” The young children did a fantastic job singing in unison, staying on key, and performing the simple choreography in a simultaneous fashion. One of the children even played the tambourine, which was quite a spectacle. It just goes to show you that talent can come from anywhere.

The entire production showed off musical potential, but one of the more impressive examples of musicality was shown during the song, “On My Own,” performed by Young Scrooge (Samson Dunmyer), Scrooge, and the Angel of Christmas Past. Each character sang a different line of the same song, overlapping their voices in a seamless blend. Young Scrooge was a bit pitchy at times and his acting was wooden, but he did his best, and I applaud him for that.

There were several familiar faces on that stage, but the one that stuck out the most to me was Bowling Green High School’s very own Katelyn Motsinger, who played Young Adult Belle. Her voice sounded as pretty as ever, though it was a little shaky at times. I thought it was great to have a representative of our school’s music program up there on the stage.

The play consisted of various genres of music throughout. A different style of music was playing every time a transition between scenes appeared. I noticed some country and chamber music, and in Scene 8 there was a live flute sequence.

Perhaps one of the best performances of the night was in Scene 3 of Act 2. Tom Jenkins, played by the amazing Michael Perkins, once again brought the room to life with his performance of “Thank You Very Much.” You can’t help but notice the immense talent and musical passion that emits from him when he sings and dances. He has an incredible stage presence. What’s truly amazing about him is how he can sing in such a strong stage voice while maintaining a heavy accent. Every year, I look forward to seeing his broad theatricality in the play.

At last, the musical ends off with a bang with the finale number, “Christmas Together.” Bells begin to ring and the stage quickly fills up as the entire cast emerges from backstage to sing the last song. This particular song contained some nice dynamics, such as the crescendo from pianissimo to triple forte at the very end, which gave the performance a very dramatic effect. It was a magnificent end to a magnificent musical. I enjoyed every waking minute of it, and I highly recommend those who have not yet seen it to attend. It’s evident that a lot of hard work is put into this show, and it’s something that people of all ages will adore. And best of all, tickets are absolutely free. Why wouldn’t you want to become a part of this ongoing Dayspring tradition? I give The Gospel According to Scrooge five stars all the way!

The author's comments:
Unless you live in Bowling Green, Ohio, you most likely aren't even aware that this musical exists. But I had to write a review on some kind of musical event in my city for my choir class, and I chose this one because it truly is a phenomenal show. Besides, everybody knows the story "A Christmas Carol" anyway! haha :)

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