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Terrace Plaza’s Scrooge a hit on Stage for 22 years

By Rachel Trotter, Standard-Examiner Correspondent - | Nov 17, 2015

By all accounts, Kim Florence is anything but a Scrooge. But don’t tell his fans that. Florence will take the stage this Christmas season in the well-loved musical, “Scrooge: A Christmas Carol,” for the 22nd year running.

Terrace has put on the show for 24 years now. Florence took on the role, but still can’t be convinced he’s a good actor.

“People tell me I’m a draw for the theater, but I really don’t see it,” he said.

Florence has played lead roles in a laundry list of shows at the Terrace including the King in “The Pirates of Penzance,” the Pharaoh in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and Captain Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music,” just to name a few. And then there’s Scrooge.


IF YOU GO

WHAT: ‘Scrooge: A Christmas Carol’

WHEN: Nov. 27-Dec. 23

WHERE: Terrace Plaza Playhouse, 99. E. 4700 South, Washington Terrace

TICKETS: Adults/$12-$14, students/seniors (62+)/$11-$13, children 12 and under/$9-$11.00; information: http://terraceplayhouse.com


Florence’s father-in-law, Blaine Olsen, is the owner of the Terrace Plaza Playhouse. Florence’s wife, Jacci Florence, has directed Scrooge for the past 10 years and has also played the spirit of Christmas past for as long. She took over directing after her mother, Bev, passed away, who co-owned the theater with Blaine Olsen.

However, Kim’s relationship with his in-laws started long before he married their daughter. He lived in the same ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with the family where Bev Olsen was the director of roadshows for their road. Roadshows are plays and musicals that were performed for other wards in the area. Kim was about 9 or 10 years old when he remembers Bev Olsen recruiting him for a roadshow.

“I was only in it because she told me I could play basketball in the gym after the practice,” Kim said with a laugh. Now, all these years later he is still acting, and still pretty humble about it.

Kim keeps coming back to the role of Scrooge every year because of the way it affects people, he said.

“People come to see the show two to three times each year and it gets them going in the Christmas spirit,” Kim said. Many of the other people in the show have been in the show multiple times, some as many as 20 years. “Everybody knows their part and we get the chance to work on things we are lacking. We all love the spirit and message it sends.”

Story continues below photo. 

Terrace Plaza Playhouse

Kim Florence (right) and Jim Stratton (left) in “Scrooge: A Christmas Carol.”

Kim and Jacci also enjoy working together.

“When you think of Scrooge you think of an old miser. Kim is totally the opposite. He is fun,” Jacci said.

She has enjoyed watching Kim evolve with the character over the years. He was in his 40’s when he started the role and has studied different parts of Scrooge, adding things to the role.

“He puts a sense of humor into to it to make people laugh,” Jacci said.

Kim also has spent a lot of time researching the mannerisms of a little old man, right down to how they old hold their hands. “It has been fun to watch how he has developed his character over the years,” she said.

And while Scrooge is somewhat dark and miserable, because of Kim’s personality, he is able to put a humorous twist on it.

Kim loves to meet with audience members after the show. He has noticed that children will come up to him and not want to leave and go home with their parents because they want to hang out with “Scrooge.”

Jacci said the Terrace keeps doing the show each year because it is so popular with the locals. “It was just a hit right out of the gate,” she said. The two say the first few shows may not sell out, but once December starts, tickets go quickly.

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