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B a h ! H u m b u g ! Ebenezer Scrooge and the Spirit of Christmas are well and alive on Hastings Street

December 05, 2014
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Don’t miss the annual, ever-evolving Bah! Humbug! production of Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts this month.

Starring Juno Award-winning musician Jim Byrnes, the reconceived script reflects Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) through story, music and art.

With a script finely tuned to current DTES issues, a modern-day, sushi-loving Ebenezer Scrooge works in a pawn shop on Hastings Street and uses his iPhone to time Bob Cratchit’s tardy arrival at work.

Now in its fifth year, this imaginative, all-ages production truly has become a contemporary Woodward’s tradition.

Bah! Humbug! runs for eight evening performances from December 11-13 and 16–20 , 7:30 pm at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. There are also Saturday matiness on Dec. 13 and 20 at 2:00 p.m.

This year, Strathcona artist Richard Tetrault, responsible for more than 40 public mural projects in the city, has provided large-scale projections of his mono-prints and linocuts of East Vancouver’s back alleys, ravens, and houses.

The angelic sounds of the Downtown Eastside’s beloved Saint James Music Academy Youth Choir will fill the theatre while the audience is invited to sing along with the cast.

From the songs of Nine Inch Nails to Buffy Sainte Marie, the production’s diverse musical performances include pop songs, folk, blues, gospel and industrial rock along with traditional seasonal favourites. As well, DTES residents wrote several of the song lyrics to music composed by musical director Neil Weisensel.

Directed by Max Reimer, Bah! Humbug! features Byrnes as the cantankerous, money-grubbing Ebenezer Scrooge, First Nations actor and theatre luminary Margo Kane as the all-seeing narrator, and gospel and blues singer/actor Tom Pickett as the kind-hearted Bob Cratchit. A cast of professional and DTES community actors joins these Vancouver favourites on stage.

“Taking inspiration from Dickens, we’re proud to work in partnership with Vancouver Moving Theatre to benefit the dynamic programming done through the Heart of the City Festival,” says Michael Boucher, director, Cultural Programs and Partnerships, SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs (SFUW).

SFUW commissioned and co-produced the show in partnership with Vancouver Moving Theatre, with support from SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement.

Bah! Humbug! is a benefit for the DTES’ flagship Heart of the City Festival, which partners each year with more than 40 community arts and non-arts organizations.

Now more than 150 years old, Dickens’ timeless story remains relevant today, especially in light of parallels between the economic disparities of Victorian London and Vancouver's DTES.

Savannah Walling, artistic director of Vancouver Moving Theatre says, “Dickens’ haunting ghost story is filled with social satire, heartbreak and compassion. We hope that our music-filled adaptation shines the light of truth on this old tale and today’s Downtown Eastside.”

Bah! Humbug! runs from December 11-13 and 16-20, 7:30 pm. With 2:00 pm Matinees on Saturdays (Dec. 13 and Dec. 20, 2014) at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings St. Tickets are $29 (general) and $15 (students/seniors) and can be purchased online at www.sfuwoodwards.ca or at the door one hour before showtime. There will be a preview on Dec. 10 for media, with public admittance for a suggested $10 donation.