By Bill Hirschman, FloridaTheaterOnStage.com, for SouthFloridaReporter.com. Dec. 8, 2015 – All through Actors Playhouse’s The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge, a labored attempt at retelling Dickens’ classic from a different angle, I kept thinking of the same company’s wonderful 2011 production of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, which, indeed, illuminated and expanded the source material thanks in part to a brilliant performance by Ken Clement.
And this production also features a talented cast working hard under the direction of David Arisco, but good grief, what a waste of the resources of Actors Playhouse on this lame script. For one hours and forty minutes (including intermission), the audiences waits and waits for a single new riff in the Scrooge story, even a shred of logic explaining Brown’s basic premise.
When that denouement finally stumbles into the light – a completely manufactured development — it makes only marginal sense and the evening stumbles towards a muddled hurried close.
Brown’s idea is that one year after Scrooge’s miraculous transformation, he has inexplicably, and we mean inexplicably, backslid completely. His renewed humbuggery has culminated in him suing Marley’s ghost and the three Christmas spirits for attempted murder, kidnapping, trespassing and several other crimes.