A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Sunday, December 20, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2 #50) - Christmas Carol Follies – 2020

Recently, the Capital Hill Dramatists Quorum Productions premiered their annual presentation of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol.   The story is so familiar to every student of English literature by now — a greedy, tightwad capitalist in early Victorian era England is given one last chance to redeem his soul on the holiest of Christian holidays.  Past productions were tweaked a bit, with offbeat casting and script revisions when the production was directed by the likes of Bush political consultant Karl Rove.  The results were predictable.

This year’s production in the hands of current White House adviser Stephen Miller is anything but predictable.  Don’t say you weren’t warned:  it’s going to be a bumpy night.

To be fair, Miller did not have much resources with which to work.  Type casting ruled the day in this year’s production.  Yes, who better to exemplify the contexts of greed and capitalist corruption better than reality TV star Donald J. Trump.

On second thought why should we be fair?

Trump towered over the proceedings with a genuine conviction that it really was his money that Bob Cratchit (ably played by President Elect Joe Biden) was squandering in the coal scuttle.   True, Trump is no Alastair Sim, but who else would you trust with the line, “If they would rather die, they better do it and decrease the surplus population.” Surely Dickens had Trump in mind when he wrote these classic lines!  Trump also adlibs something about herd immunity at this point.

The remainder of the cast is filled out by other Washington political veterans:  Barack Obama returns as Tiny Tim and Nancy Pelosi is Mrs. Cratchit.  Unfortunately, their performances are upstaged by Trump’s ham-handed performance.  Ditto for the roles of the Christmas ghosts who look deceptively like Republican icons Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan.  Each one of them blinks at amazement at the proceedings and you can see the genuine look of WTF on their faces.

WTF indeed!  Dickens would not recognize his own work in this year’s production.  Spoiler alert:  there is no act of redemption in Trump’s portrayal.  He’s a tight-fisted bastard in Act One and he remains a tight-fisted bastard when the curtain rings down on the finale stolen line-by-line from the opening of Springtime For Hitler.

Miller and company can’t even come up with an original idea for their racist propaganda!

First there was Trump/Scrooge’s balking at the charity collectors in Act One.  In Dickens Victorian Era the line was “Are there no prisons?   Are there no work houses?”   Now, in 2020, Trump adlibs, “It’s not my fault.  I take no responsibility!” with a dismissive snort. 

In the end, Tiny Tim is not saved from an agonizing premature death.  Instead, Trump/Scrooge turns over the entire Cratchit clan to the Home Office as illegal immigrants from Mumbai.  Apparently the Cratchit family name is actually Cratchitpoli, and Trump/Scrooge acts with over-the-top giddiness as he exposes without evidence their illegal presence in his England.

There is a rumor that Miller’s production will tour in Russia once the Trump administration closes shop in January.  God speed.  Seriously, God speed and don’t even think about coming back.  Until then, the production will continue throughout the holiday season in the well of the Senate and other undisclosed locations in the Capital region.

(Thank you for reading.  Any resemblance between the actions described in this review and an actual theatre production are wholly and purely coincidental. Please remember to stamp out humbugs wherever and whenever possible.)


Blogger Ur-spo said...

oh the horror.
Mr. Dickens what would he say I imagine?

December 20, 2020 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

I'm with him ^^^^^
The horrors.

December 20, 2020 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Debra She Who Seeks said...

Very creative! "Springtime for Hitler" indeed.

December 20, 2020 at 7:18 PM  
Blogger Dave R said...

I think Dickens would say you were too, too kind in your casting

December 20, 2020 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Raybeard said...

All that's missing is the introduction of a 'plague'. But that would be so outrageous as to stretch all credibility, would it not? So no, leave it as it is.

December 21, 2020 at 5:03 AM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Thank you Spo. Poor Dickens!

Yes,Bob. Horrors indeed.

Thank you Debra. I suspect that was a last minute inspiration within Team Miller.

Actually, Dave R., the original production in 2007 was directed by Karl Rove and featured Rush Limbaugh as Scrooge. That casting set the standard for years...until 2020.

Thank you Raybeard. Who needs plague when we have Want and Ignorance staring at us?

December 22, 2020 at 6:52 AM  

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