Too Close to Call: This town’s merriest misers


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We’re pitting Soulpepper Scrooge against Ross Petty’s Scrooge in a battle of Toronto’s two premiere Christmas Carol productions. Who’s got the biggest, baddest ‘Bah! Humbug’ in town? Find out.

More than 10 years now.

For how many years have you played Scrooge?

I’ve been playing
Scrooge since Oct. 24. 
I am, therefore, the world’s foremost authority on the character.  

I give myself time. I get to the theatre early, and I get dressed early too. I stay quiet and try to give myself to the play. I try to let the play inhabit me, if that makes any sense.  How do you step into character? I’m wearing mutton chops. They do 85 per cent of the work. The accent is another 10 per cent. 
The movie with Alastair Sim. Unforgettable. Beautiful. Funny, sad, terribly moving.… Most iconic Christmas Carol adaptation in pop culture?    As of the Nov. 30 opening of our show, ours will be. But until then, I’d say the 1951 film starring Alastair Sim is still the go-to.  
I think it means two things: “Bah!” means “Stop talking rubbish,” and I think “humbug” means something like 
“I’ve never heard anything so stupid.”  
What does “Bah! Humbug!” even mean, anyway?  I think it’s Victorian grump for: “Oh please. Nonsense!” It’s extremely satisfying to say,
even more so to yell.   
It’s a wonderful story, told by a master storyteller: Charles Dickens. It’s funny, sad, topical and important and reminds us of a lot of things we need to be reminded about.  Why should people come see your show? It has all the great things from
the Dickens classic –– ghosts, redemption, a big bed –– plus singing, dancing and at least
one man in drag.  
A Christmas Carol runs Dec. 7 to 24, at the Young Centre, Soulpepper.ca     Ross Petty’s A Christmas Carol, Nov. 24 to Dec. 31, Elgin Theatre, rosspetty.com  
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Jessica Wei is an associate editor for Post City. She has lived and worked as a journalist in Montreal, Hong Kong and, now, Toronto. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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