Once again, this time in the role of Scrooge, in a CD recording of A Christmas Carol, Robert Picardo is playing a “cranky curmudgeon.”
A call from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s Chase Masterson (Leeta), who took on the role of Mrs. Fezziwig, set the wheels in motion for the musical CD, based on 1970’s musical Scrooge.
Preparation for the role by Picardo began by watching Scrooge, which starred Albert Finney in the title role. “I’d never seen this musical adaptation of Dickens‘ A Christmas Carol,” said Picardo, “so I watched the DVD and found myself quite moved by Finney’s performance, made all the more impressive by the fact that he was only in his mid-thirties at the time.
“The Leslie Bricusse songs were great, and Scrooge’s transformation from isolated misanthrope (I Hate People) to redeemed man/giddy enthusiast (I Like Life) through his visions of Christmases past, present and ‘yet to come,’ was beautifully realized in song.
“I was particularly touched by his ballad of remorse ‘You. . . You,’ which Scrooge sings when he realizes he lost his one true love to his obsession for making money. The greatest acting challenge was ‘I’ll Begin Again,’ the impassioned pledge to change his life that Scrooge sings when he awakens in panic and dread from his terrible dreams. Watching Finney in that scene in the movie was heartbreaking. No one could improve on that, I thought. So…why try?”
It turns out that the original film soundtrack was never released on CD, but is only available on vinyl. “Here was an opportunity to bring this music to a new generation of listeners, and my only responsibility was to do my best to live up to that opportunity,” said Picardo. “And — let’s face it — I’ve had a certain amount of experience playing cranky curmudgeons, even a few non-holographic ones.”