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MOVIE REVIEW: "Scrooge & Marley"

Throwing the switch


Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" is already one of the most popular fantasy tales of all time, with countless cinematic adaptations — everyone from Patrick Stewart to Vanessa Williams has filled the miserly shoes of Ebenezer (or Ebony) Scrooge — so any new variation on the tale has to prove its worth by bringing something fresh to the table. "Scrooge & Marley," screening for one night next week at The Little, adds a campy, queer twist to the proceedings that doesn't quite justify its existence, but it's got enough rough-around-the-edges, let's-put-on-a-show charm to get you into the holiday spirit.

This time around Scrooge is played by David Pevsner as a bitter old queen running a gay piano bar in downtown Chicago. Pevsner takes the opportunity to chew the scenery like it's his job, referring to his clientele as "the riff raff" and barking lines like "caring doesn't pay the bills!" before the inevitable change of heart following visits by the infamous ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future. The Ghost of Christmas Present (played by "Make Me a Supermodel"'s Ronnie Kroell) has Scrooge take a couple whiffs of poppers in order to travel back in time, so that should tell you right away if you're in the target demographic for this film.