Music Theatre International Acquires Estella Scrooge for Licensing | Playbill

Industry News Music Theatre International Acquires Estella Scrooge for Licensing This new musical from Daddy Long Legs writers John Caird and Paul Gordon offers a modernized take on Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

John Caird and Paul Gordon's Estella Scrooge (A Christmas Carol With a Twist) has been acquired for stage licensing by Music Theatre International. Based on the Dickens classic, this new musical features a female title character and mashes up elements from such other Dickens novels as Great Expectations, Little Dorrit, and Bleak House. The musical will become available for general licensing in spring 2022.

The work follows Estella Scrooge, a young Wall Street tycoon who travels to Pickwick, Ohio so she can delight in foreclosing on a hotel in person. When she arrives on Christmas Eve, Estella discovers the hotel's owner is her childhood sweetheart, who has been using the property as a homeless shelter, and of course Estella is visited by three uninvited houseguests looking to teach her a valuable lesson.

The musical's world premiere streaming production is currently available at A cast including Broadway favorites Betsy Wolfe, Clifton Duncan, Lauren Patten, Patrick Page, Carolee Carmello, Danny Burstein, and more all filmed their parts individually on stage, with their performances merged via green screen and virtual sets for the finished stream. The broadcast also features direction by Caird. You can watch a clip from this streaming production above.

"This brand new holiday musical is a welcome addition to MTI’s catalogue," says MTI President and CEO Drew Cohen. "Theatres are always looking for a seasonal show that resonates with their audiences, and Estella Scrooge offers the perfect mix of a familiar story updated with modern sensibilities and a heavy dose of humor and warmth. John Caird’s book is a delight and Paul Gordon’s music and lyrics breathe new life into a beloved classic tale."

Estella Scrooge is the latest collaboration between book writer Caird and composer-lyricist Gordon, whose past musicals include Daddy Long Legs and Jane Eyre. Caird previous collaborated with Stephen Schwartz on Children of Eden, and adapted Bernstein's Candide for London's National Theatre in 1999, while Gordon contributed book, music, and lyrics to a 2006 adaptation of Austen's Emma, a streaming production of which is also available online.

For more information, visit

Industry News

Blocking belongs
on the stage,
not on websites.

Our website is made possible by
displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by
whitelisting with your ad blocker.
Thank you!