Rated 3.0 Veteran actor Rodger Hoopman likely holds the regional record for the most utterances of “Bah humbug!” The program notes for Scrooge indicate this is his 24th December in the title role—and the third year at the Magic Circle Theatre in Roseville.Scrooge is very much Hoopman’s vehicle. He wrote the adaptation and the lyrics and shares staging credits with Warren Harrison (who plays Bob Cratchit and is in his ninth year with the show). Rob Knable wrote the music, which is presented in recorded form.

Hoopman’s Scrooge has a pale, scraggly look about him; think “old Dracula in a red bathrobe.” In addition to the requisite meanness, Hoopman brings out a poignant touch of regret when Scrooge realizes how narrow his life has become. As the show breaks for intermission, he calls out plaintively for his sister Fan and lost fiancée, Belle.

The staging incorporates more infernal elements than most versions of this tale. Jacob Marley climbs up from the orchestra pit amid a blast of fog. The charwomen who steal the dead Scrooge’s belongings sound like witches from Macbeth. Several actors actually dance atop Scrooge’s coffin—one of the stranger additions to the story I’ve encountered.

The show avoids several pitfalls that often mar community shows based on A Christmas Carol. There are no fake mutton-chop sideburns, and no one in the cast tries too hard to fake a British accent. However, the balance between recorded music (too loud) and singers (whose mics weren’t always on) could have been better.