Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ebenezer VanderScrooge's Parade

One of my nerdier hobbies is daydreaming about missing scenes and filling in dramatical (dreamatical) gaps. Most recently, such a gap gaped during A Christmas Carol's many incarnations this past Christmas season. I saw a lot of them, from Mr. Magoo's to Albert Finney's.

But now that I have finally seen the stage version at Ford's, I'll focus on the Scrooge portrayed by Edward Gero, who is now playing the Scroogey Horace Vandergelder in Ford's Hello, Dolly.

So the missing scene from Dickens's Carol (and dang if I can find a copy of the book in this place) is the one that shows how Scrooge got so scroogey after he was engaged to Belle. There he was dancing in the shadows of Christmas Past, all cheery and bright, and then suddenly he's counting coins and Belle is chucking the old engagement jewelry back at him.

What happened? How did money become so important to him? Was he kicked out by the landlord? Lose big in an unfortunate gambling debacle? Get a taste of jealous rivalry with some other clerk?

And where did Belle go, never to be seen in that town again? Had she no relatives, leave no forwarding address? Are these questions answered in the book? (Don't make me re-read it. Not my favorite Dickens book in print.)

So poor young Ebenezer let his parade pass by and never looked up to see it go. Even after he found redemption, post-ghosts, there was no Belle yet available, waiting to give him another chance. Sob.

From my little chair in the Ford's balcony last Saturday afternoon, I smiled as Edward Gero got to hand his Ebenezer a second chance to catch the parade--this time as Horace Vandergelder, the Merchant of Yonkers. You know the story, so I don't need to retell it in details. While looking for a new wife (i.e., a housekeeper, not a householder), Vandergelder is beguiled into a different parade and into the matchmaker's own arms.

Edward Gero as Horace Vandergelder and Nancy Opel as Dolly Levi in the Ford’s Theatre and Signature Theatre co-production of “Hello, Dolly!” Photo by Carol Rosegg.

It's a great show. The voices are strong, the dancing is vibrant. Just all good fun. Aside from Gero, I didn't recognize the other Ford's regulars, though it seems to be a bit of a reunion for some of the players from 1776, Parade, and Liberty Smith.

I can hardly wonder why my own parade has passed me by without a trace of confetti when I spend my mind's time thusly preoccupied with fictional characters' happy endings. But I confess I greatly enjoyed ogling the eye candy that is the singing/dancing waiter chorus line of the present Ford's Dolly, and most particularly the hoo-hah-handsome Alex Puette.

Photo of Nancy Opel with Jp Qualters, Harris Milgrim, Kyle Vaughn and Alex Puette by Carol Rosegg.

Alex Puette, via ModelMayhem.com 

So why is it I am spending my daydreaming time thinking this would be a great match for my Clay Aiken? Hee! There I go again, following someone else's parade.

Love, hosaa
Matchmaking for complete and total strangers....

Edited to add (Aug. 17, 2013) that Alex is, coincidentally, performing in the same company as Clay Aiken for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat this summer. AND he posted this video, obviously filmed sometime during the above production of Hello, Dolly:

No comments: