Photo: John Serembe as Ebenezer Scrooge, courtesy Olympia Family Theatre


What really happened to make Ebenezer Scrooge change his mind about Christmas, or did he really change his mind at all? Maybe he decided it had all been a dream after all. What else could explain why many years later he could be so stingy as to refuse to give Tiny Tim’s father Christmas day off?

Delving into these affairs, comic playwright Ken Ludwig (“Give Me a Tenor,” “Moon Over Buffalo,” “The Game’s Afoot”) teamed up with his son Jack (novelist and sports writer) to write a kind of sequel for children and adults — anyone who still treasures the Christmas spirit. That play, “Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol,” is Olympia Family Theater’s holiday offering this year.

In this child-friendly updating of Charles Dickens’ classic tale, Tiny Tim (Zachary Clark) is now 15 years old and Scrooge (John Serembe) is apparently still a greedy old curmudgeon despite his joyful vow so many years ago to always keep Christmas in his heart. So, Tim dreams up a spectacle involving pie sellers and booksellers and puppets and ghosts (there have to be ghosts) to scare the bah humbug out of Scrooge all over again and convince him to give his father a Christmas holiday.

“Who could pass up the opportunity to play Scrooge during the holidays,” Serembe said.  “It’s been a joy to work with this cast and director and in this great theater. This is my fifth go-round at the role of Scrooge, but all have been in vastly different versions of the classic. I believe that this particular one will be especially charming for families getting into the spirit. I hope you will enjoy our little Christmas present to Olympia.”

Serembe is a professional actor and member of Actors Equity who has appeared in Hollywood movies and such television series as “Cheers” and “Scrubs.” Locally, he has turned in outstanding comic performances in such plays as Animal Fire Theatre’s “Much Ado About Nothing” and Harlequin Productions’ “The 39 Steps” and “Little Shop of Horrors,” and what just might be the craziest comic role ever seen in Olympia, the monster in Theater Artists Olympia’s “The Head That Wouldn’t Die.”

That list alone should assure potential audiences that they’re in for an experience in joy and hilarity.

Clark is a teenage actor. He was seen in OFT’s “3 Impossible Questions.” He also played Lurvy in “Charlotte’s Web,” and was in “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” both at OFT.

OFT founder and artistic director Jen Ryle said of this show, “There will be puppets and carol singing. It should be a festive holiday show, perfect for the whole family.”

Also appearing will be Emma Thomas, Peter Rushton, Jame Wrede and Andrea Weston-Smart, each in multiple roles — six actors playing a dozen different roles.

The show will be directed by Michael Christopher, with scenic designs by Jill Carter and puppet artistry by Mark Gerth.

The show runs approximately an hour and a half and is suitable for all ages.


(This review appears courtesy The Weekly Volcano.)


WHAT  Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol

WHEN Nov 30 — Dec 23, 2018, Fridays at 7:00 p.m. and Sat, Sun at 2:00 p.m.

WHERE   Olympia Family Theater 612 4th Ave E, Olympia, WA 98501

HOW MUCH $15-$20

LEARN MORE (360) 570-1638 Olympia Family Theater