Putting a Rap on Scrooge

A sprawling, contemporary version of A Christmas Carol engagingly sets Dickens' classic in a Washington ghetto

Ebenezer Scrooge may seem the embodiment of Victorian England, that era of top hats and class warfare, but his journey of self-discovery could be just as meaningful had he been American. Or black. Or a man of the late 20th century, a period of more casual clothing but equal bitterness between haves and have- nots. For that matter, there's nothing in the essence of Dickens' story to preclude glimpses of fast-food workers and airline pilots, or riffs of rap and gospel music, and it's reasonable enough to have an urban American Tiny Tim (T.T. to his kin) be a victim of...

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