'A Christmas Carol' A Hit On Salem Trolley

SALEM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Holiday revelers in Salem have been viewing a production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" in an unusual setting—aboard the Salem Trolley.

Actor-producer Erik Rodenheiser told WBZ NewsRadio's Carl Stevens the tradition started back in the 80s.

"Thirty-five years ago, the original trolley owner and I said, what can we do for Christmas?" he said. "And we thought, oh, not Santa, let's do Scrooge! So we said, yeah, Scrooge will go on the trolley and harass people."

The Trolley stops at several locations around the city, where stages are laid out for the cast of 20. Rodenheiser plays Ebenezer Scrooge, a character he knows quite well.

Over the years, the trolley play has caught on.

"A lot of people make this their tradition," Rodenheiser said. "We've seen kids grow up watching the show, and now are adults, bringing their kids to the show, which is cool."

The play is even interactive.

"They get on the trolley with Scrooge, and it's not just a sit down and watch show," Rodenheiser said. "Some kids play the people who ask for money, some kids play the Cratchit kids. Somebody gets picket as Mrs. Fezziwig, Tiny Tim."

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, they put on 98 shows to crowds of 38—that's how many people fit aboard the trolley. It's a long way from the first year, which featured one weekend of shows with frequent cancellations "because nobody was interested."

"We do three shows a night during the week, and then on the weekend, we do six shows," he said. "They're all sold out."

WBZ NewsRadio's Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) reports

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