• What: "The Nutcracker Christmas Carol."
• When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, Saturday, Dec. 8 and Dec. 14-15; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, and Dec. 16.
• Where: C.C. Bond Humanities Building, Chattanooga State Community College, 4501 Amnicola Highway.
• Admission: $10 adults, $5 children, free with ID for CSCC students, faculty and staff.
• Phone: 697-3246.
Call it a Christmas mash-up.
"The Nutcracker Christmas Carol," an original musical that combines many great Christmas stories into one, returns to Chattanooga State Community College on Friday for a two-weekend run.
Author Rex Knowles says he started with "A Christmas Carol" and "The Nutcracker" and added snippets from "It's a Wonderful Life," "Miracle on 34th Street," "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas."
"I asked myself this question: What if I found in the back room of the British Library a first draft of Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' and within those pages were the seeds of every Christmas story we know today?" he says of its origin.
Knowles, who wrote the book and lyrics and portrays Ebenezer Scrooge, joined with Sherry Landrum and Allan Ledford to collaborate on the music. Together, they created 10 original Christmas songs, ranging from the comical "I'm Gettin' Everything for Christmas" to the heartwarming "My Christmas Dream."
Landrum, who also directs the production for the school's Repertory Theatre, says while the work was created as a lighthearted spoof it also owes much to the transformation and redemption in "A Christmas Carol."
"The theme of Scrooge, the penurious tyrant and his worker Bob Cratchit, the thoroughly good human being, resonates throughout all the stories," she says. "The Grinch steals Christmas from Whoville. Mr. Potter takes Bedford Falls from George Bailey. Fred Gailey fights the psychologist, Mr. Shellhamer, to protect the name of Santa Claus."
In addition, Landrum says, "the innocence of childhood in the archetype of Tiny Tim runs through all as well in the characters of Little Cindy-Lou Who, George Bailey's children and young Susan Walker. 'It's a Wonderful Life' even brings in a ghost, Clarence Oddbody, who gives George Bailey the chance to see the future and realize that goodness is its own reward."
Ledford is the musical director, and Lindsay Fussell is the choreographer.
The production is appropriate for all ages.