A Christmas Carol Continued (The New Humbug)

Rated 3.0 Richard Broadhurst, a solid local playwright, updates the Dickens classic with a sincere smile. The basics of the original are intact—mainly the segue from doubt to self-recognition and, later, redemption. The particulars involve the contemporary figure of Ebeneezer Scrooge V, who oversees a small empire of gift shops known as the Happy Humbug. The scene shifts from Albany, N.Y., to present-day Sacramento.

Broadhurst also inserts a revision in the form of Roberta Crachit, a transformation of Scrooge’s long-suffering and famously underpaid employee. Here, it’s a single mom, sans health plan, with a seriously ill son.

The show is undernourished in terms of production values, but the heart is in the right place, and Broadhurst and director Adrienne Sher have put the right sort of spin on the subject. Recommended, despite some shortcomings.

A Christmas Carol Continued (The New Humbug) plays at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, as well as at a final 7:30 p.m. performance Monday, December 23, at the Delta King Theatre, 1000 Front Street, 995-5464. Show-only tickets are $16-$18, and dinner-and-show packages are $36-$40.