NORTH SALT LAKE— There’s more to the story of Scrooge than you might know.
At least, that’s the case in “The Gospel According to Scrooge,” playing Dec. 9-11 at Abundant Life in North Salt Lake and Dec. 16-18 at Calvary Christian Church in Roy. The play, which Abundant Life has performed for several years now, is a musical adaptation of “The Christmas Carol” used by Christian churches around the world.
“It’s a fun play,” said Pastor Alex Lucero of Abundant Life. “Everyone knows the story, and this falls in line with just a few tweaks.”
The biggest tweak is the introduction of God and Christian faith to the classic redemption arc. In this production, angels come to visit Scrooge instead of the three ghosts, and he learns to rely on God to help him change his heart.
“Scrooge says in the beginning ‘If you want anything in this life, you’ve got to do it yourself,’” said Lucero. “At the end, he says ‘If you want anything in life, you’ve got to get the Lord Jesus to help you.’ God will bring a change in your life, if you let him.”
Still, the majority of the story will be familiar to everyone familiar with the Dickens story. This year’s will be even more faithful, with the production adding in a scene they’ve never done before.
“We’re adding the gravedigger scene,” he said. “It’s pretty funny.”
Though “The Gospel According to Scrooge” has been playing off and on at Abundant Life for several years now, it was just last year that they decided to also do shows up at the Calvary Christian Church. One cast and crew, which come from both churches, put on the show at both churches.
“We kind of took this church under our wing,” said Lucero. When it came to the idea of bringing the production northward, “we got enough people saying ‘We can do it.’”
Audience response to the shows has always been positive, and many return every year the church does the play as part of their Christmas tradition.
“We get excellent feedback,” he said. “Most people are surprised at how great it is and how sharp everything is done.”
Lucero remembered one audience member had something even nicer to say.
“They said ‘I go to other theaters, and this is as good as anybody does in the valley,’” he said. “It was a nice compliment.”
Tickets to the play are $5 for either location, and all of the money raised goes to New Hope House in Tooele, Utah. The faith-based residential care facility helps girls under the age of 18 who are on parole, probation, and/or find themselves struggling with “life-controlling problems.”
“It’s an excellent program for girls who find themselves in a crisis situation,” said Lucero. “It’s very unique, in that it deals with girls who are under 18.”
Friday night shows are at 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday night shows are at 6 p.m. Abundant Life Assembly of God is located at 410 N. Main Street in North Salt Lake, and Calvary Christian Church is located at 4737 S. 1900 West in Roy. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit abundantlifeutah.com and click on the “Scrooge Tix” link on the upper right hand corner of the page.
“‘The Gospel According to Scrooge’ shows that there’s more to life than prosperity and work,” said Lucero. “God can change even the hardest heart.”