The familiar lyric “Don we now our gay apparel” has a new meaning in “Scrooge & Marley,” a warmhearted indie gem offering a fresh twist on the Dickens classic. It marks the directorial debut of “Windy City Times” film critic Richard Knight Jr., who also appears as his alter-ego, Dick O’Day, in several tune-filled scenes. I first encountered Mr. O’Day at a special holiday screening of “Carrie” with Piper Laurie in attendance, and his inventive wit coupled with an infectiously exuberant spirit instantly won me over. Knight and his co-director, Peter Neville, infuse “S&M” with that same sort of charm. The spectacularly talented ensemble features Tim Kazurinsky (“Saturday Night Live”), Rusty Schwimmer (“The Sessions”), Bruce Vilanch (“The Aristocrats”), Megan Cavanagh (“A League of Their Own”), Allison Torem (“The Wise Kids”) and David Pevsner (“Grey’s Anatomy”) as Scrooge.
In anticipation of “Scrooge & Marley”’s upcoming run at the Gene Siskel Film Center starting December 21st (click here for tickets and showtimes), Knight spoke with Indie Outlook about his favorite “Christmas Carol” adaptations, his script’s deviations from Dickens’ original plot and his inclusion of showstopping musical numbers.
The program was produced at Columbia College Chicago. Technical producer was Rebecca Nystedt. An Indie Outlook production.