The show must go on, and so it did at the KC Rep when understudy Martin Buchanan stepped up to portray Ebenezer Scrooge in the current production of Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday story, “A Christmas Carol.”
Buchanan, proved once again he can carry a show when asked. Buchanan played several small parts in this 36th mounting of the annual KC Rep tradition. But, when lead and longtime Scrooge could not perform due to a virus, Buchanan got the call to step up for a few shows so Gary Neal Johnson could have time to recover.
Buchanan starred several years past in “The Foreigner,” a wildly funny comedy that garnered standing ovations nightly. In that production, he paired with then KC Rep assistant artistic director, Kyle Hatley. Buchanan and Hatley keep the audience laughing throughout.
For “A Christmas Carol” the character of Ebenezer Scrooge seldom leaves the stage as he must remain present as he journeys through his past, his present, and glimpses into his future yet to be. Some of Buchanan’s best moments come in the opening scene with clerk Bob Crachit and his nephew Fred, played by Andy Perkins and Seth Macchi. Another strong scene in the opening act involves his interaction with Marley’s ghost, played by Victor RaiderWexler.
Act II opens with a great scene with the Spirit of Christmas Present and the final scene when he displays his newfound Christmas joy and rewards Crachit with a raise. Those scenes stand out, although all scenes are well done. No one would know they were seeing someone else mount the part of Ebenezer Scrooge.
The original review was from opening night with the entire cast as reflected in the program. To see the original review, see the link below: