A VHS Christmas Carol is a 42-minute musical based on Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Its aesthetics are inspired by the 1980s. A version of the production will be staged in December of 2021: VHS Christmas Carol Live!.
The show begins with the Narrator introducing Ebenezer Scrooge, a mean and greedy businessman who cares only about himself and despises Christmas. As Scrooge is working, his nephew Fred arrives at his office and invites Scrooge to dinner at his house on the following day. Scrooge scoffs at his nephews offer, shouting bah humbug in his face, and Fred leaves. Later on, two men appear at Scrooge's door collecting donations for the poor. Scrooge kicks them out. Following this, Bob Cratchit appears and asks Scrooge to have Christmas off from work, so he can spend it with his family. Scrooge agrees to let him have the day off on the condition that he comes into work early the next day. The full cast then appears on-screen singing about how terrible Scrooge is. ("Bah Humbug!")
Scrooge later returns home and sits to eat his gruel when he's interrupted by the ghost of his old business partner and friend Jacob Marley. Jacob warns Scrooge about how his greed in life has trapped him in chains to the mortal world, so he's forced to look at how he could have lived his life better. He warns Scrooge that he needs to improve and tells him that he's going to send three spirits to visit him that night. Marley then leaves and dances in the sky with hundreds of other ghosts. Upon seeing this, Scrooge is shocked and passes out. ("3 Spirits")
At the stroke of one, Scrooge awakens to find the Ghost of Christmas Past in his room. The Ghost takes Scrooge into the Christmases of his past, beginning with the Christmas of his school days. Scrooge reflects on how his father made him stay at school over Christmas, however his sister convinced their father to allow him to come home. Scrooge then reflects on how much he misses his sister since her passing and thinks of her son Fred. Scrooge and the spirit then appear at Fezziwig's, where he used to work. The scene they appear at is the Christmas party, where the boss Mr Fezziwig gave his employees the opportunity to have a party and a good time on Christmas. This causes Scrooge to reflect upon his treatment of Bob Cratchit. Later, Scrooge relives the moment he met his former fiancé, Belle. ("I'm the Ghost")
The ghost then takes Scrooge to relive the moment where he lost Belle forever. Belle tells Scrooge how he's changed as he's become more and more greedy. Scrooge then reflects on how if he met Belle today, he'd try harder to keep Belle. She gives Young Scrooge her ring back, and Belle says goodbye forever. ("That Scrooge")
Scrooge finds himself back in his bedroom. He follows a light to the other room and discovers the Ghost of Christmas Present there. The Ghost of Christmas Present tells Scrooge about Christmas electricity, the joy spread between people at Christmas. The Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge to Fred's Christmas party, and Scrooge finds himself having fun there in the party atmosphere. Fred even does an impression of Scrooge, much to the guests' amusement. ("Christmas Electricity")
The Ghost then takes Scrooge to another Christmas party, this one is much more subdued and is the Christmas of the Cratchit family. Mrs Cratchit, Belinda, Peter and Martha are setting the table when Bob enters carrying Tiny Tim. The family shares what they feel thankful for this Christmas and express how happy they are to be together despite their destitute situation. Bob then attempts to make a toast to Scrooge, but Emily protests it and toasts her hope that Scrooge dies. Scrooge reflects on how many mouths Bob has to feed and how desperately Tiny Tim needs help. The Ghost remarks to Scrooge how he doesn't believe Tiny Tim will live much longer without it. ("Priceless")
Once again Scrooge finds himself on the street where he finds the Ghost of Christmas Future. Unlike the other ghosts. the spirit doesn't speak much to Scrooge's discomfort. The ghost takes him to watch three businessmen discussing whether they're going to attend a funeral for someone who's died, one of them jokes that they'll go if there's a lunch. Scrooge feels disgusted by this disrespect and feels sorry for the dead man. The ghost then takes Scrooge to a seedy part of the city, where he sees three people dressed in rags sharing what they stole from the dead man's house. The people talk about how the guy died alone and how nobody stopped them from robbing his house. He remarks on how he wished he could see if anyone feels any emotion for this man's death. The ghost then shows him two spouses who are celebrating because he died, freeing them of their debt. Scrooge becomes irritated by this and asks if anyone can feel any tenderness for any death. Scrooge then finds himself once again in the Cratchit's house where the family mourning the death of Tiny Tim, Emily reflects on how if Scrooge has raised Bob's salary they could have saved him. Scrooge is distressed by this and asks the spirit to tell him who the dead man from before was. Scrooge is then shown his own grave and realises he is the dead man people were talking about. He is then sucked down into the grave. ("The Final Ghost")
Scrooge awakens in his bed and reflects on the events of the night before. He feels overjoyed at the fact that he still has time to make things right in his life. He calls out to a boy on the street and gives him some money to go buy the biggest possible turkey to send to Bob. Scrooge then heads out to attends Fred's party and on the way runs into the donation man, to whom he gives a very generous donation. He then runs off to go to Fred's house. When he arrives, he apologises to Fred for his treatment of him and asks him if he can forgive him. Fred accepts Scrooge's apology, and they party into the night. The next morning. Scrooge rushes to get into work early to surprise Bob, who walks in late. Scrooge pretends to yell at Bob but eventually gives him a raise, much to the man's shock. As a result of the night's events, Scrooge became a better man and even acted like a second father to Tiny Tim, who didn't die. The full cast then appears on-screen and reflects on how even the meanest people can change. ("Christmas Day")
A VHS Christmas Carol is a hybrid multimedia performance that combines aspects of live theatre with film and music videos. The entire show was recorded in the cast's own houses, as was the album.
After broadcasting online for only 3 of the 4 scheduled performances due to technical difficulties, the show was available for digital tickets from December 14-30.
A cast recording of the production was released on December 11, 2020 on iTunes as well as Starkid's main online store.
|Joey Richter||Bob Cratchit|
|Meredith Stepien||Jacob Marley / Spouse Two|
|Jaime Lyn Beatty||Ghost of Christmas Past|
|Brian Rosenthal||Young Scrooge / Peter Cratchit / Businessman Two / Scavenger Two|
|A.J. Holmes||Fezziwig / Donation Man One / Party Guest / Businessman One / Scavenger One|
|James Tolbert||Ghost of Christmas Present|
|Lauren Lopez||Emily Cratchit / Donation Man Two/ Goth Party Girl (unceremoniously cut and later added)|
|Jamie Burns||Ghost of Christmas Future / Belinda Cratchit|
|Ali Gordon||Turkey Boy / Scrooge’s Sister / Martha Cratchit / Businessman Three / Scavenger Three|
|Brian Holden||Tiny Tim / Spouse Two|
|Clark Baxtresser||The Narrator|
- Bah Humbug!
- 3 Spirits
- I’m the Ghost
- That Scrooge
- Christmas Electricity
- The Final Ghost
- Christmas Day
- This is the first Starkid show Ali Gordon has been in since Me and My Dick.
- Joey Richter and Lauren Lopez are the only two performers who appear in the same real-life location, as the rest of the show was recorded independently, from the cast members' houses. (Meredith and Brian's characters were unrelated in terms of appearances, so they never showed up in one shot.)
- Corey Lubowich originally did not want James to wear the glasses as the Christmas Present, but James convinced him
- Corey Lubowich's original vision for the show involved live performances from the cast members that would all be streamed at the same time. Unfortunately, after a failed test run shortly before the performances, each of the cast members had to record their parts separately, and the show was edited together as quickly as possible before the first stream. After this fell through, several of the numbers' edits were reworked, including That Scrooge, originally put together by Meredith Stepien in the rush and later edited by Brian Holden.
- One of the livestreamed performances featured a talkback, during which both Lauren Lopez and Joey Richter elected to appear topless on Zoom. Team StarKid quote retweeted an image of this on Twitter, captioning it "WHY!?!?". Lopez's response to this was "We will not be shamed.", while Richter's was "Can’t spell #Cratchit without a little T & A 😘".