Scrooged at Ladysmith Little Theatre to Dec. 30 

Scrooged at Ladysmith Little Theatre to Dec. 30 

Scrooged mashup jolly good fun

A mashup of my all time sentimental favourite, Dickens’ Christmas Carol, with The Wizard of Oz? Really?

I have to confess to feeling more than a little grinchy settling in to watch Dorothy Gets Scrooged, Ladysmith Little Theatre’s Christmas production. A mashup of my all time sentimental favourite, Dickens’ Christmas Carol, with The Wizard of Oz? Really?

Sacrilegious and highly unlikely, I thought.

And the opening scene left me even more doubtful: a narrated intro, explaining how Dorothy had been transformed from the immortal darling of many a childhood memory, into a self-centered, money grubbing, bossy, snarky ‘bitch.’ One can suspend disbelief only so far, and turn a blind-eye to slander for only so long!

Written by Little Theatre’s own Bill Johnson – who also directed the play, and took on the role of Scarecrow – my initial thought was: there’s no out here. If this thing doesn’t come off, Little Theatre will have no-one to blame but themselves, collectively, for a home-grown misadventure.

Fortunately, my anticipated disastrous ending was blown out of the water the moment the witch Elvira Havisham (Lynnia Clark) wheeled out onto the stage on a kid’s scooter, and started singing the praises of exotic flowers and the fortunes to be made by growing and selling them.

A neighbour’s tiff between her and Dorothy (Lauren Semple) morphs into a business partnership that echoes the miserly example of Ebenezer Scrooge and Bob Marley, and follows the same pattern straight to perdition.

With interludes of dialogue, the play skips through favourite selections from the hit charts, all cleverly rewritten to tie into the Scrooged theme.

This is not a production for the faint-heart to take on. Above all, it requires strong acting to carry off. Semple, in the role of Dorothy, is outstanding. Her strutting, pouting, shouting, sarcasm and general meanness and miserliness are portrayed with just the right touch of exaggeration to make it comic, yet believable.

But she’s not alone. The rest of the cast step up, with amusing performances, too. The Tin Man (Robert Bradford) and the Lion (Torry Clark) join Scarecrow in memorable three-part harmonies; Scratchet (Christian Ostaffy) singing the blues with his impoverished, somewhat dwarfish family.

If you’re looking for something a little different this Christmas season, and don’t mind having a few iconic memories mashed, you’ll get a kick out of Dorothy Gets Scrooged. If you don’t like people having some fun with your traditional Christmas fare, well… Bah Humbug!

I don’t know what possessed Williams to write this play, or Ladysmith Little Theatre to take it on, but I’m glad they did. It took courage, brains and feeling to pull off.

Tickets available at the Ladysmith Little Theatre Box Office 250-924-0658. Open Mon, Wed and Fri. from 1 to 3 p.m. or online at,


Just Posted

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Justine Keefer’s Cedar Elementary School Grade 6/7 class put together a student paper, as part of a school project. Pictured here Andrew Gregory, left, Felix Leduc, Addison Armstrong, Lucia Walker and Anise Dick. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Cedar Elementary School students create their own newspaper

Grade 6/7 class publishes Wolf Pack News as part of language arts and social studies

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements’ invention La Méduse (the Jellyfish) removes oil from the ocean. The invention was one of 15 out of 700 inventions submitted to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Little Inventors contest. (Cole Schisler photo)
‘Little Inventors’ from Ladysmith showcased in national science challenge

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements were one of 15 finalists in the Little Inventors Challenge

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

A view of the outside of St. Andrews Roman Catholic Cathedral on Victoria’s Blanshard Street. (Don Denton/News staff)
Vancouver Island bishop apologizes for church’s role in residential schools

Bishop Gary Gordon of the Diocese of Victoria voices commitment to healing and reconciliation

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

Most Read