Aside from the solid musical backdrop of carols arranged by Valerie Maze, the pillar of this Provision Theater Company staging of Dickens's classic, adapted by David Bell and director Tim Gregory, is Brad Armacost as Ebenezer. No twinkling, giggling curmudgeon, Armacost is just the Scrooge the Victorians would have known and feared: scary stuff, a miserly bogeyman who puts himself beyond the pale by scoffing at the season's sentiments and not sharing the wealth. Gregory's plainspoken, efficiently paced, ultimately moving retelling avoids smug self-congratulation as it merrily demolishes false idols and exposes the white-collar crimes that prove Scrooge's moral bankruptcy. The 21 cast members bless us, every one. Through 12/30: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM, Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252, $15-$25, industry nights Thu.