Smokey Mountain Christmas Carol (with book by David H. Bell, directed by Curt Wollan, one of the creators of the The Church Basement Ladies) follows the original fairly closely. Except that it's set in the Depression era Smokey Mountains and Scrooge is the evil and greedy mine owner. Like any new work it could benefit from another round of edits; it feels a little long, with too much time spend on strikes and prohibition detracting from the main story. But what I wouldn't cut is any of the dozen or so songs, all of them keepers. I'd buy a cast recording today of this country/bluegrass score featuring toe-tapping numbers and moving ballads.
|Dolly Parton with cast members Ruthie Baker,
Brandon A. Jackson, and Mabel Weismann
I hope that Dolly and her team continue to develop this musical, I'd love to see a full production premiere at the Ordway. New Producing Artistic Director Rod Kaats said before the show that this was the first world premiere at the Ordway in 10 years. I'd love to see them do more world premieres, or even regional premieres (I'm still waiting for someone in #TCTheater to produce Fun Home). With their Ordway Originals they've proven they can produce Broadway-style musicals with local talents Their next one is 42nd Street next summer, but I'd love to see them invest in new works such as Dolly Parton's heart-warming, funny, folksy, musically rich Smokey Mountain Christmas. There are two more readings today with limited tickets remaining - check the website or call the box office for info.
*You can read about all of the holiday shows I've seen here.