A Christmas Carol: The Musical (2004)
December 12, 2018 8:29 AM - Subscribe

An old bitter miser is given a chance for redemption when he is haunted by ghosts on Christmas Eve. Starring Kelsey Grammer, Jesse L. Martin, Jane Krakowski, Jennifer Love Hewett, Geraldine Chaplin, Jason Alexander and Brian Bedford


"A musical setting for Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is a natural, and this holiday TV-movie (based on the Broadway version) generously crams music into its quick spin through the venerable story. Kelsey Grammer uses his musical pipes (and some of his "master thespian" style of acting) as Ebenezer Scrooge, the man whose miserliness needs no introduction here. There's some experienced musical-comedy talent in the cast, from small roles to large, with expert stuff from Jesse L. Martin (who was in Rent, the Broadway musical, before he joined the Law & Order team) as the ghost of Christmas Present and Jane Krakowski as the ghost of Christmas Past. Jason Alexander, another TV person with a background in stage musicals, does deftly as the chain-rattling Jacob Marley's ghost (and his number is one of the most tuneful of the mixed bag of songs). Alan Menken, the veteran tunesmith of Beauty and the Beast fame, contributes the music, with lyrics by Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime); the bigger numbers are spirited but a little rote. (The Styne-Merrill songs from a wackier version of the story, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, are a more memorable bunch.) This version moves so quickly across the main points of the story that Scrooge's redemption feels a tad rushed, but maybe the songs are supposed to be the point. Still, the razzle-berry dressing is missed. --Robert Horton"

Scrooge Month Day 14: Kelsey Grammer in A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL (2004) - "
The best Christmas Carol? Probably not. The best musical version? Eh, it’s hard to beat the Muppets. But for a made-for NBC special starring (mostly) NBC stars, it’s pretty darn effective. I said at the beginning that it’s been quite a while since I watched this one, but I now realize I’ve got to work it back into the regular rotation."
posted by the man of twists and turns (3 comments total)
I saw this at the time (occupational hazard for Victorianists), and was...displeased. Some perfectly competent musical theater performers, but frequently stuck in badly-choreographed (and sometimes badly-costumed) production numbers; poor Jesse L. Martin was especially hard done by. IIRC, it was also just too bright and cheerful, skating straight over most of the creepy bits.
posted by thomas j wise at 5:49 PM on December 12, 2018

I have a huge soft spot for adaptations of A Christmas Carol, which is odd considering I'm not a big fan of Christmas itself. Anyhoo...This is not a pleasant watch. It tries hard. But...nope.

If you really pine for a musical version of ACC, check out Scrooge, starring Albert Finney, thankyouverymuch.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:03 AM on December 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


♫♪ That's the nicest thing that anyone's ever done for me ♫♪
posted by doctornecessiter at 11:47 AM on December 20, 2018

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