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‘Christmas Carol’ the same, no matter the language (in this case, Klingon)

Over the past century and a half, Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” has proven to be an infinitely flexible piece, able to take on whatever
framework the creator wants it to be. Muppets, Mr. Magoo and any number of television programs have taken on the story of tightfisted Scrooge and his eventual awakening to the spirit of Christmas. So why not take it to the future on a planet far away?

“A Klingon Christmas Carol,” presented by Commedia Beauregard at the Mixed Blood Theater, molds the tale to the particulars of the “Star Trek”
universe. While the details may have been altered,­ Scrooge’s (here, SQuja’s) redemption is one of honor;­ the overall impact remains largely intact. Your mileage here really depends on how well you know the “Star Trek” universe.

In the case here, the team of writers and translators present SQuja as a familiar tight-fisted moneylender who has steadfastly refused to defend his, or his family’s, honor at any turn, even refusing to take place in the traditional annual tournaments and celebrations that mark a Klingon’s move into adulthood.

From there, it follows the familiar path, as three spirits take him through the past, present and future to show SQuja the errors of his ways. We see the fears that set him on this path and the sad results of his continued activities ­ the death of young, crippled tImHom and his own banishment from his race’s warrior heaven.

Considering all of the dialogue is in a made-up language, the large company does a good job of bringing the story to life. Center to this is Michael Ooms as SQuja, who anchors the piece with a funny turn as the familiar character that also gets into its depths. Other places are hard to judge. After all, the narrator (Kristin Foster) may perform without emotion, but her character is a Vulcan, so that deadpan delivery is expected.

There are plenty of clever moments in the staging, some of which is pretty deep, Trek-wise, such as having the Ghost of Christmas Past portrayed as an old-school, non-bumpy forehead Klingon or having Tiny Tim presented as a small puppet, holding a equally tiny Klingon dueling blade.

“A Klingon Christmas Carol” makes for a breezy (less than 90 minutes, even with the intermission) fun evening for the committed Trek fan and those just curious about seeing a familiar story in a different context.

“A Klingon Christmas Carol” runs Friday through Dec. 13 at Mixed Blood Theater, 1501 S 4th St., Minneapolis. Tickets are $15 and $20. For information and tickets, call 612-338-6131 or go online.

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