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Holiday Musical Which Started As Stage Production In Ventura County Become Streaming Film

"Estella Scrooge" started as a stage musical being developed in Ventura

It’s a new musical based on a classic holiday story, with roots in Ventura County. 

“Estella Scrooge: A Christmas Carol With A Twist” is a modern day take on the well known Charles Dickens story.  It follows a Wall Street tycoon who learns the pitfalls of being cold and heartless.

It’s being called the first full produced green screen musical shot during the pandemic.   It just world premiered, and is getting national attention including a story in the New York Times. 

It’s development started nearly a decade ago as a stage musical at Ventura’s Rubicon Theater.

Michael Jackowitz is a Tony-Award Winning Producer who helped create the musical.  He says they eventually realized it might not work financially as a holiday season Broadway production because of the short period people would be interested in a holiday production.  They were looking at a movie when the pandemic hit.  They ultimately figured out how to do it as a green screen project, with performers being shot one at a time and edited together.

2020 Tony Awards nominee Lauren Patton is one of “Estella’s” stars.  She’s done everything from Broadway shows to TV shows like “Blue Bloods” and Succession,” but says this production posed a lot of challenges, like singing to someone who isn't with you on a set.

Patton says it felt like doing a stage show and TV series all in one.

The streaming production of the musical is especially exciting for the Rubicon Theater Company.  It’s producers brought an early version of the project to the Ventura Theatre Company as part of their efforts to develop the stage musical.

Karyl Lynn Burns is Rubicon’s Co-Founder, and Producing Artistic Director.  She says they are thrilled to see the project fully developed.

Jackowitz says he thinks the cutting edge elements in the “Estella Scrooge” are helping to create a new entertainment art form.

“Estella Scrooge” is being offered is a pay per view streaming event through the Rubicon Theater Company’s website.  The producers are hoping the musical may become an annual holiday tradition through streaming platforms or broadcast television.  

Link to Rubicon Theater Company/"Estella Scrooge" streaming tickets:

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.