Scrooge Must Die!

The Actors’ Gang’s X-rated take on Dickens’ classic tale gives new meaning to the phrase “a blue Christmas.” Writer-director Angela Berliner seems determined to re-imagine the novel, using much of the original text, interspersed with rants that are jaundiced, scatological, violent and aggressively sexual. (One riff concerns being raped by a herd of buffalo.) Mr. Scrooge (Scott Harris) murders Marley (Justin Zsebe) and throws his body to the wolves at the door. Old Fezziwig (Pierre Adeli) is a capitalist exploiter, and his Christmas party degenerates into an orgy with much pan-sexual simulated sex. Nephew Fred (RJ Jones) is declared to be a homosexual, and his wife (Sabra Williams) a slut. The Cratchit family apparently dines on roast rat rather than roast goose, and the young Cratchits are a rum lot: Peter (Seth Compton) is a gin peddler, Martha (Heather J. Thomas) is a hooker, and Tiny Tim (Elora Dannon) seems more interested in masturbating than asking for blessings. There’s no real purpose or point of view, merely a compulsion to debunk everything in sight. There are occasional laughs, but brief as it is (just more than an hour), the show quickly grows tiresome. Ivy Substation, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City; Thurs.-Sat., through Jan. 10; variable schedule; call for info. (310) 838-4254 or An Actors’ Gang production.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 & 10:30 p.m.; Thursdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Dec. 6. Continues through Jan. 10, 2008

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