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Marley gets his turn in twisted take on Dickens' classic

–  Nutz-n-Boltz presents 'Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol' through Dec. 16


In Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” you don’t see those in-between times when Ebenezer Scrooge starts to come to grips with his sins.

That’s not the case in a 2003 play that depicts Jacob Marley’s valiant, almost unseen efforts to save old Scrooge’s soul — and in the process save his own.

The tale, “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol,” will be presented two weekends between Dec. 7 and 16 by Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company in Boring.

Marley has been condemned to hell, with only one chance of redeeming his spirit from the depths of that flaming pit. To escape the eternal inferno, he must redeem the soul of Scrooge, which at first sight seems a hopeless task.

Director Kelly Lazenby says Marley’s tormentor is a ghost who gives him one last chance at redemption by aiding him.

“Scrooge’s heart, as we all know, is eventually opened, but we take the journey with Marley as he irreverently, humorously and reflectively discovers his own heart,” Lazenby says.

Lazenby adds that she likes the message “Marley” conveys.

“It goes so well with the productions of ‘A Christmas Carol’ that we all know and love so much, but I kind of feel those get done a lot, so this is kind of a fresh look at it,” she says. “I think it makes you look at yourself. I don’t think adults can go through life without having at least one regret. I think it makes you stop and appreciate what you have.”

Beneath the surface

Curtis Hanson of Happy Valley plays Scrooge, and Hanson notes audience members get a deeper look inside Scrooge’s soul through “Marley” than they would in traditional versions of “A Christmas Carol.”

“The thing with Scrooge that you don’t see in most theater or film applications is that he becomes remorseful early on as he’s being taken around by Marley,” Hanson says. “Early on in the second act we find Scrooge weeping in his chair for what he had seen, for what he had lost.”

The play was written by Tom Mula to be performed by either one or four actors. The Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company presents it with four actors playing 16 separate characters, including Justin Lazenby and Allan Ansell, both of Gresham, Alyson Teachout of Damascus and Hanson.

“Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” is a full production in two acts, with a running time of about 1-1/2 hours. There will be an intermission and concessions available, with live music provided by students from Barlow High School.

This is the last chance to see Nutz-n-Boltz perform “Marley,” Lazenby says, noting the company has performed four versions of it. Next year, the company plans to stage “Inspecting Carol,” a comedic play by Daniel J. Sullivan, written in 1991.

“That’s the great thing about ‘A Christmas Carol,’” Lazenby says. “There’s probably about a hundred different versions of it.”




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