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Brooklyn man writes Hanukkah musical based on Dickens' famous "A Christmas Carol"

"A Hanukkah Carol" musical gets New York City staging
"A Hanukkah Carol" musical gets New York City staging 02:22

NEW YORK -  We're just days away from the start of Hanukkah, and one Brooklyn man is celebrating his own miracle, seeing his dreams come to life with a performance of his original musical. 

CBS2's Hannah Kliger was invited to rehearsals for "A Hanukkah Carol, or GELT TRIP! The Musical." It's a new adaptation of the beloved Charles Dickens holiday classic.

Set in modern-day Brooklyn, the musical, conceptualized by Harrison Bryan, tells the story of Chava, a narcissistic influencer who rejects her family and the holiday. 

Bryan says he drew on his own experience of feeling left out this time of year.

"There's just so much Christmas entertainment out there, and as a Jew in New York City, we embrace that too. But my parents wanted me, and my sister, to grow up not thinking Hanukkah is a second-place holiday," he says.

After a robust crowd-funding campaign, Bryan and his collaborators got to work putting the musical out there.

"The story of Hanukkah itself is actually the story of taking pride in your identity and defending your right to exist as you are," says Rob Berliner, lyricist and co-librettist.

This week they had an industry reading of the musical where a cast of Broadway actors presented the show and discussed a potential future for it.

"We have gotten some really great feedback and positive responses. The hope over the next few months is to continue to talk to excited parties who want this to go to the next level," Bryan explains. 

Featuring a mostly Jewish cast, eight characters play 80 roles in the silly and irreverent production which includes a tradition started by Bryan's parents. 

"They created the 'Hanukkah fairy' who would come every year and decorate the house blue and white while we were sleeping," he recalls.

Jewish actors like Ephie Aardema, who is currently performing in "Funny Girl" on Broadway, says the script fills a void.

"How wonderful to help make something I would have really wanted to see when I was a kid," she says of the work.

This Sunday will be the first-ever presentation to the public, on the first night of the Festival of Lights. It will be a condensed, concert version of the show, available in person and via livestream. 

Have a story idea or tip in Brooklyn? Email Hannah by CLICKING HERE.

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