Our Pal, Hal

12 questions with OCs living theatrical legend

You think anyone has ever had sex on the set?

What? The set? They better not have on my bed.

When are you going to finally hang up your stocking cap?

I'm going to do it a little longer. Not forever, but I'm not ready to stop just yet.

The play deals directly with the abuses of capitalism that Dickens saw in Industrial Revolution England, and this is a production that is eaten up by people who reap incredible rewards from that same system some 150 years later. Do you think Dickens' message of the need for the rich to reach out to the poor has any resonance for your audience?

I think it definitely does. That's the power of Dickens' writing. I was just reading some background material on it and what Dickens was thinking about accomplishing with this play. He knew that as long as there was an underclass, as long as there are poor people, somebody's got to help them. He was very active in his time politically in that regard, and I think that's where the power of this comes from.

So many people think all Scrooge wants is money. Do you?

He wants what we all want: satisfaction and happiness. But he's misguided in the first act, thinking that having as much money as possible would bring him that happiness. He thinks that he isn't happy because he doesn't have enough money. Later, he discovers money isn't the end source of happiness. It's reaching out, giving and your relationships with other people.

If Scrooge were a golf club, what would he be?

A one-iron.

Oooh, that just sounds hard and tough, doesn't it?

Yep.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL AT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY, 655 TOWN CENTER DR., COSTA MESA, (714) 708-5555. PREVIEWS BEGIN SAT.; REGULAR RUN BEGINS DEC. 3. TUES.-FRI., 7:30 P.M.; SAT., 2:30 & 7:30 P.M.; SUN. & CHRISTMAS EVE, NOON & 4 P.M.; STUDENT MATINEES DEC. 1 & 2, 11:30 A.M. THROUGH DEC. 26. PREVIEWS, $20-$32; REGULAR RUN, $30-$46.

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