Shadowbox Live is closing the curtain on "Cratchit" at the end of this season as the Brewery District entertainment troupe prepares for a new holiday show in 2020.
"Honestly, people weren't tired of the show. I just got a new idea," said Jimmy Mak, head writer at Shadowbox, 503 S. Front St. in Columbus.
"Cratchit" will be performed for the third and final year on select Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 22.
Tickets, which may be purchased at shadowboxlive.org, are $25 for adults, $20 for students, military members and seniors 65 and older and $10 for children 10 and younger.
"Cratchit," an original musical production, is an alternate take on "Scrooge," which Shadowbox performed for many years "until we wanted to do something different," Mak said.
Both riff on "A Christmas Carol," a tale about Ebenezer Scrooge, the tightfisted, mean-spirited boss of Bob Cratchit, played by John Boyd.
In the Shadowbox version, Cratchit is the subject of a lesson. After being upbraided by Scrooge for taking a paid day off on Christmas, Cratchit visits a local bar and runs into his cousin, Mikey, who had worked for Scrooge years earlier. Mikey is played by L.R. Thomas.
Cratchit explains that his daughter, Tiny Tina, needs surgery, and he does not have the money to pay for it. Mikey hatches a plan: Cratchit will leave the office door unlocked one evening after work and Mikey will burglarize the place, stealing money for Tiny Tina's surgery.
In the same manner as "Scrooge," Cratchit is haunted by upbeat ghost Jacob Marley, a former Scrooge business partner who delivers a somber message about dishonesty.
"He tells Cratchit: 'You're a good guy,' " Mak said. " 'You need to be true to yourself.' "
Mak said "Cratchit" is upbeat and humorous, with traditional Christmas songs and modern rock numbers interspersed throughout the show.
Mak's two daughters are in the show: Riley Makofsky is Lori and Rosalyn Makofsky plays Tiny Tina. (Mak goes by a shortened version of his surname.)
Katy Psenicka, chief operations officer and actress at Shadowbox, plays Deborah (pronounced deb-ORR-ah), Mikey's girlfriend.
"She's brassy; she's loud; she's colorful," Psenicka said of Deborah. "Mikey and Deborah are very much the comic relief in the show."
Psenicka said she will miss "Cratchit" but looks forward to the new show, which is under development.
"I love being in 'Cratchit,' " she said. "It's an incredibly heartwarming show.
"New work is always really exciting, especially when that new work is 100% original."
Yet, patrons shouldn't write off a return of "Cratchit" at a later date, she said.
"You know, we give things a break and bring them back when people start asking for them again," Psenicka said.