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So Cincinnati: 'A Christmas Carol' is a Holiday Tradition
CINCINNATI (Bob Herzog) -- The Holidays are a time for traditions, whether it's your family or the entire community.
A special holiday story has turned into a local tradition. "A Christmas Carol," Charles Dickens' tale of the miser Ebenezer Scrooge, comes alive each December at the Playhouse in the Park.
When the ghost of Christmas past comes calling, it's best to let the spirit move you. So as "A Christmas Carol" entered its 23rd year, Bob Herzog found himself suiting up Victorian style and walking across the stage.
In 1998 Bruce Cromer played Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim's dad, in the Charles Dickens classic. Now, he plays Ebenezer Scrooge.
"The delightful thing was, to me, Cratchit was, I thought, always a little closer to my skill set because I'm a pretty happy person."
You wouldn't guess that from what he does on stage now, with all the "Bah Humbugs!"
As of this year's show, Bruce is the longest tenured Scrooge in the production's history. But, though mostly miserly, he still conveys an uplifting message.
"I think Scrooge offers a beacon of hope to a lot of people. You can get up the next morning and do one little thing differently and you never know what the floodgates will be from that one little moment of call it transformation. I think we are redeemed every day by the little things we do for fellow human beings."
Things have changed for Bruce during his run in "A Christmas Carol." But not everything is different. Marley is dead to begin with and since almost the beginning at the Playhouse, Marley has been played by Greg Procaccino.
"The word that comes to mind is commitment. The commitment everybody makes here for the past 23 years is incredible and inspiring and it keeps you coming back."
When asked why he comes back year after year, Procaccino said, "It's a constant. It's a constant in an ever-changing world. I know I can come back here every year and see these things that make me happy, cry, laugh. I can guarantee it. Not a lot of guarantees anymore."
"A Christmas Carol" runs through January 3, 2014 at Playhouse in the Park.