The name Scrooge is synonymous with an extremely selfish, miserly person who hates anything to do with Christmas. But why was Scrooge such a scrooge?
According to Claire Jarvis author and assistant professor at Stanford, Scrooge is likely in his 60s or 70s; Scrooge might've been born as early as the 1770s. The theory is Scrooge is so stingy because he lived through the 1803 Napoleonic Wars and knows firsthand what economic hardship is like. When “The Ghost of Christmas Past” takes him on his first visit back in time Scrooge appears to be in his early 20’s. Jarvis brought up a moment when Belle calls Scrooge out “'When we got engaged when we were young, we both had nothing and we wanted to work toward better times, but now if you got engaged with someone, I know you’d get engaged with someone for money,' and he doesn’t correct her". The “Ghost of Christmas Present” appears and Scrooge checks off his mental checklist all the food in shop windows; connoting free trade and the cessation of poverty and unemployment. The “Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come” takes Scrooge to the graveyard where a neglected tombstone reads "wretched man" and “Ebenezer Scrooge” which was apparently only a week in the future.
Were the Napoleonic Wars and harsh economic conditions part of the reason Scrooge is a Scrooge? Or is this just a big bah humbug?
I love live theater and this article was of particular interest to me because just a week ago I had the privilege of seeing the 50th anniversary production of “A Christmas Carol” at my favorite venue, the Glendale Centre Theatre-in-the-round (also referred to as an arena theatre or central staging) where the audience sit in very comfortable burgundy velvet chairs which surround the stage in staggered stadium like seating with direct line of sight. The actors enter from 3 staircases as well as the stage floor and during parts of the performance the audience is actually part of the show as characters enter the scene as they descend onto the stage floor.
In 1947 Ruth and Nathan Hale rented a small building in Glendale, and the Centre Theatre was born. If you haven’t had a chance to attend a play there you’re missing a wonder opportunity to visit one of the best playhouses in all of LA; incredibly talented actors, innovative set design, and the admission price is more than reasonable!