Pec Playhouse offers Wild Christmas Binge

A Christmas Carol’s Mrs. Bob Cratchit rebels; Ghost takes Scrooge on a ‘different’ adventure

PECATONICA—Christmas will come early this year for live theater-goers in the Rockford area as Pecatonica’s Pec Playhouse Theatre stages its summer production of the comedy Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge this July and August.

The play is a twisted look at Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, with homages paid to other popular family favorites, such as Touched by an Angel, Oliver Twist, It’s a Wonderful Life and more.

Author Christopher Durang, known for his darker satires such as Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All to You and Betty’s Summer Vacation, pens this play as a light parody—a kind of “what if” version of the classic Christmas story.

In this version, there is a rebel in the midst of A Christmas Carol—Mrs. Cratchit—who hates the suffering of her life and tries to escape it, confounding the Ghost’s attempt to teach Scrooge his good lesson. Instead, Scrooge begins to admire Mrs. Cratchit for her orneriness, and the Ghost has to try to find a moral in a message that no longer makes sense.

Flustered, the Ghost makes errors jumping through time with Scrooge—to scenes from the orphanage in Oliver Twist and from The Gift of the Magi, even calling upon Monica from Touched by an Angel and the angel Clarence from It’s a Wonderful Life to try to straighten things out. Even George Bailey makes an appearance. Everyone lives happily ever after—sort of—and Scrooge and Mrs. Bob end up in 1977 New York.

The play is under direction of Mark Kann, who most recently directed Pec Playhouse’s musical Man of La Mancha last summer. A long-time volunteer for the organization, he has also directed several other plays, as well as appearing onstage in more than a dozen productions in the group’s 15-year history. Back in the director’s chair, he is eager to bring this relatively new work (it premiered in 2005) to life.

Performances will be Fridays through Sundays, July 28-Aug. 13. Showtimes are 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, with 2 p.m. matinees Sundays. Tickets are $10 for all seats, and reservations are strongly encouraged. Tickets are available at German-American State Bank in Pecatonica during normal business hours, or by calling the Box Office at 239-1210 (toll-free 877-PEC-PLAY), and most major credit cards are accepted at no extra charge.

For more information, contact the Box Office at 239-1210 or visit the Pec Playhouse Web site at

From the July 12-18, 2006, issue

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