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‘Scrooge’ has a close-knit cast



Published: Thu, December 8, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

The Youngstown Playhouse’s production of “Scrooge, the Musical” is a show for families — even on the stage.

There are no fewer than 10 parent-child or sibling combinations in the cast and/or crew of the holiday show directed by Chris Ferencik of Hermitage, Pa.

Ferencik, who is making his directorial debut at the Playhouse, can’t explain the family phenomenon, other than it’s just a time for togetherness.

The family units in the cast are Aundrea Heschmeyer and her three daughters, D’Ella, Millie and Sophie; Dave Wolford and son Donny; Robert Morris and daughter Abby; Shannon Murphy and son Conor; Zoki Jelic and daughter Snezana; siblings Page, Andrew and Carl Brockway; Elaine and Emma Eichhoff; Jen Kuczek and son Jack; Mike Walkowiec and daughter Dleia; and Russell Nalepa and daughter Liz.

“Scrooge” is based on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” but Ferencik has set it in the present day, and for good reason. “A Christmas Carol,” of course, is set in an era of haves and have-nots — much like today’s America.

“A lot of things the play talks about are going on in society now,” said Ferencik. “I wouldn’t have done it just for a gimmick. It’s the way a lot of people are feeling. Plus, it gave me a chance to have fun with certain scenes.”

In one flashback scene, the action goes back to a disco in the early ’70s.

“Scrooge” runs this weekend and next. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Call 330-788-8739 for reservations.

The Playhouse also is holding its annual coat and toy drive for the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley. Theater- goers are asked to bring a new, unwrapped child’s coat or toy to place in the barrels in the Playhouse lobby during the run of “Scrooge.”

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: ANOTHER TALENTED KEAGGY

Nashville-based teen pop band Hot Chelle Rae — which is still riding its ubiquitous summertime hit “Tonight Tonight” (“ ... and we’re dancin’ on the edge of the Hollywood sign ...”) — has a local connection.

Ian Keaggy, the band’s bass player, is the son of Youngstown native Phil Keaggy, who was the guitarist for Glass Harp, the progressive rock band from the late ’60s and ’70s that has since become a local legend. Phil Keaggy is now a Christian-music artist who has received seven Dove Awards for his work.

Ian Keaggy, 24, was born in the Los Angeles area and lives in Nashville. His band will be in concert Sunday at House of Blues in Cleveland with Taio Cruz.

‘Factory of Sadness’ COMic MIKE POLK AT FUNNY FARM

Cleveland-based comedian Mike Polk Jr. will be at The Funny Farm, inside the Metroplex Hotel in Liberty, on Saturday night for two shows, with Joel Devov (see the story on Page C10 in this edition of Vibe).

Polk is the Newton Falls native who became regionally famous for his YouTube videos such as “Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video” and, most recently, “A Browns Fan’s Reaction to Today’s Game” (aka “Factory of Sadness”).

Show times are 8 and 10:15 p.m. Call 330-759-4242.


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