EXCLUSIVE: “You thought you knew Scrooge,” an ominous voice intones. “You don’t know this Scrooge.” So get acquainted with Estella Scrooge, the upcoming world premiere streaming musical with a heavy-hitting Broadway pedigree.
This first-look trailer (watch it above) features Betsy Wolfe (Waitress) singing the show’s “Never Look Down” as clips and characters from the cleverly filmed production take us through this new musical spin on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. References and storylines from other Dickens classics — including Great Expectations, Little Dorrit and Bleak House — are incorporated into the mix.
Estella Scrooge will premiere Friday, November 27 at EstellaScrooge.com. Tickets go on sale Tuesday for $24.99 at Ticketmaster.com.
As Deadline reported in September, Estella Scrooge utilizes greenscreen technology and virtual sets along with individually recorded performances. Billed as “the first fully-realized musical to be filmed in virtual production,” Estella Scrooge uses hundreds of images, animations and digital environments blended in post-production with the footage of the actors.
With an expressed intent to avoid the Brady Bunch Zoom squares so familiar in the COVID era, Estella Scrooge: A Christmas Carol with a Twist (full title) brings together casts and creatives from some of Broadway’s biggest shows. With a book and direction by Tony Award winner John Caird (Les Misérables, Nicholas Nickelby) and book, music and lyrics by Paul Gordon (Tony-nominated for 2001’s Jane Eyre), the musical stars Wolfe as the title character, a descendant of Ebenezer Scrooge. Clifton Duncan (The Play That Goes Wrong) co-stars as her childhood sweetheart Philip “Pip” Nickleby.
Featured in the cast are Lauren Patten (Jagged Little Pill) as Dawkins, Patrick Page (Hadestown) as Mr. Merdle, Carolee Carmello (Parade) as Marla Havisham and Danny Burstein (Moulin Rouge!) as Ebenezer Scrooge.
The official synopsis: Estella Scrooge is a young Wall Street tycoon with a penchant for foreclosing. A hotelier in her hometown of Pickwick, Ohio, has defaulted on his mortgage, and Estella fancies the idea of lowering the boom personally. Arriving at Harthouse on Christmas Eve, Estella discovers that the defaulting party is her childhood sweetheart, Pip Nickleby. A good and generous soul, Pip has transformed the property into a refuge for the sick, dispossessed and homeless. A freak snowstorm forces Estella to take refuge. That night, just as it happened to her ancestor Ebenezer, she is haunted by three visitations.
Also in the large cast are Megan McGinnis (Little Women) as Betty Cratchit, Adam Halpin (Dear Evan Hansen) as Bob Cratchit, Sarah Litzsinger (Beauty and the Beast) as Sissy Jupe, Tom Nelis (The Visit) as Dedlock, Em Grosland (Emotional Creature) as Smike, Phoenix Best (Dear Evan Hansen) as Charity & Mercy, David Bryant (Original Marius in Broadway’s Les Misérables) as Mr. Podsnap, Gabrielle Reid (Beautiful: The Carol King Musical) as Mrs. Pumblechook, Samuel Lee Roberts (Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular) as Mr. Flopson, Michael Francis McBride (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater) as Mr. Dombey, Michele Lee (Nutcracker Rouge) as Mrs. Noggs, Kristen Faith Oei (The King and I) as Ms. Skiffins, Meg Gibson (The Gabriels) as Molly, William Youmans (Wicked) as Magwitch & Bagstock, Kevyn Morrow (Moulin Rouge!) as Jasper Jaggers, Joziyah Jean-Felix (The Lion King) as Young Pip, Brooklyn Shuck (“Evil”) as Young Essy and Willow McCarthy (The Ferryman) as Tiny Tammy.
The creative team includes musical supervision by Brad Haak and choreography by Natalie Lomonte. The director of photography and editor is Tyler Milliron, production art design is by Zach Wilson, costume design is by Somie Pak, hair and makeup design is by Dena Olivieri and props design is by Katherine White.
Producers are Michael Jackowitz of Witzend Productions, David Bryant and Michael Alden, in partnership with Streaming Musicals. Executive Producers are Kevin Surace and for StreamingMusicals, Tom Polum and Stacia Fernandez. Co-Executive Producers are Jeffrey Grove, Allan Herzog and Dawn Smalberg/Bev Ragavoy.
Director/co-book writer John Caird said: “I’m so happy to bring this new musical to life in the midst of these mad and maddening times. It’s wonderful to provide employment for the theatre community while we enliven the classic Christmas Carol story, refashioned with a new twist for today. At a time of great conflict and hardship, I hope we can shine a little ray of optimism into the surrounding darkness.”
Check out the trailer above.