Dickens classic given Downtown Eastside twist

Tsawwassen actor Tom Pickett is thrilled to be bringing a beloved holiday classic, complete with a contemporary twist, back to the stage.

Pickett stars in Bah Humbug! – an Eastside Christmas Carol, which will be staged forthe 10th and final time this holiday season. It will be presented at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts in Vancouver from Dec. 5 to 21.

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Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is retold in this contemporary adaptation set within Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, complete with its pressing social issues. On a dark winter’s night, Scrooge preys upon his desperate clientele as a heartless pawnshop operator/hotel landlord who displaces people through renovictions.

“It’s my ninth year in the production and I’m blessed to be asked back for this show,” said Pickett. “I love the twist on the Dickens classic and how they involve a spiritual connection to the First Nations and the Downtown Eastside as well. Every year they see what is going on in the world and wove that into the script.”
Pickett said new twists and turns lend a fresh take on the story every year.

“You want to discover and make it fresh every night, so this makes it a challenge as an actor, which I love,” he said. “It’s a pleasure going to work every day to work with such a talented cast and crew. It is bittersweet that this is the last year because it was something you looked forward to every year.”

Billed as a haunting yet humourous musical, it’s directed by Michael Boucher and Juno Award winner Jim Byrnes leads the musical ensemble. It features an impressive cast that includes Kevin McNulty, Sam Bob, Savannah Walling and Margo Kane.

The St. James Music Academy Youth Choir adds to the unique adaptation, while renowned muralist Richard Tetrault's iconic images of back alleys, ravens and Vancouver's portside provide a backdrop.

The Goldcorp Centre for the Arts is at the SFU Vancouver Campus at 149 W. Hastings St.

Tickets are $39 for adults and $24 for students. They’re available online here. or at the door when the show opens.





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