The season just wouldn’t be Christmas if there wasn’t a visit from Dickens’ three ghosts, Past, Present and Future. The audiences at Cardozo Middle School this past weekend witnessed a modern version of the classic tale, with a staging of Jamz’ Christmas Carol.
This updated telling features a hip-hop DJ named Jamz, as re-written by Chelsea Petty for contemporary, young audiences. The 16-member cast was directed by Drama Club Advisor Christine Wallen, including students from sixth, seventh and eighth grades.
The play was staged in the Cardozo Middle School multi-purpose room on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 8 and 9. Before the curtain a quintet directed by Band Teacher David Howard performed traditional seasonal music to set the tone for the evening.
The hero, Jamz, is a famous, filthy rich hip-hop recording artist who’s made it out of his old neighborhood and refuses to ever look back.
His wealth and celebrity have led him to become a selfish punk who neglects everyone around him, even those closest to him like his assistant, Annie, and his ex-fiancée, Sherlyn.
Jamz reveals just how self-centered he can be when his cousin, Laban, who’s a preacher in the neighborhood, asks Jamz to do a charity concert for the kids at a local youth center.
After Jamz’ nasty refusal, he is visited that night by a group of ghosts: his old partner, Petey B., a suave, stylish ghost of the past; a hip and happy ghost of the present; and a scarily silent ghost of the future.
In the end, Jamz learns the true meaning of giving and forgiveness and surprises everyone when he’s overcome by the Christmas spirit and turns his life around once again, this time for the better.
And yes, Virginia, Dickens said there is a ‘happily ever after.’