Tuesday August 22nd 2017

“A Christmas Carol”

Traditions! Our lives are filled with traditions for almost everything we do or celebrate. Theater has its traditions as well. In particular at this time of year when all the “holiday” productions grace the stages of our theaters. For the 35th year, The Goodman stage is presenting “A Christmas Carol”, a play that more than 1,000,000 audience members have seen. Some of course are repeat visitors, other for the first time. For those of you who have seen their production in past years, each year, little changes take place; different actors take on different roles, little changes in the special lighting and effects as well as some change sin the music. The one constant of course if the wonderful work written by Charles Dickens, that tells the story of a surly miser who doesn’t believe in the holiday or in fact anything but work and holding money “dear”. The character is Ebenezer Scrooge. In fact, the word scrooge is in our vocabulary because of this particular character. What we witness in this play is the total transformation of this angry man into a loving kindhearted soul.

Directed by Steve Scott on a wonderful set( Todd Rosenthal’s amazing set from the past years) this Tom Creamer adaptation of the book is family fare to be enjoyed by young and old. I would suggest however that children under five might find certain parts a bit scary ( there are visits from ghosts and some amazing lighting effects(Robert Christen). While the entire cast is worthy of the ovation that takes place at the end of each performance, it is truly the character of Scrooge, once again played by the master of the stage, Larry Yando. Over his five years of playing this role, Mr. Yando has increased the fun he is having during the transformation. His visits with each of the ghosts and his change of character in the final scenes are adorable to watch. As I said to someone after this evening’s performances. Any young actor, in watching Mr. Yando hone his craft on the Goodman stage, could almost count this as the greatest acting lesson they will ever have. He runs the full gamut of the moods and mentality of Scrooge and never drifts away from the depth of this character. Once again, BRAVO to  one of Chicago’s finest actors for allowing us to watch him at work!

While Yando is the focal point of this story, there are many cast members that I feel should be noted;Ron Rains , returning as Bob Cratchit, Scrooge’s assistant ( and the father of Tiny Tim), spritley Elizabeth Ledo as the Ghost of Christmas Past, the vivacious Penelope Walker as the Ghost of Christmas Present,Joe Foust as Ghost of Jacob Marley, Greg Hite as the fiddle player,Ora Jones as Mrs.Fezziwig and others and Michael Aaron Lindner as Mr. Fezziwig and others. The cast is dynamite with many actors taking on more than one role and the costumes by Heidi Sue McMath and original music by Andrew Hansen add to the making of this theatrical experience, just that! A Theatrical experience that will remain in each audience members memory for many holiday seasons to come. Make this part of your family tradition ( if it is not already).

“A Christmas Carol” will continue at The Goodman Theatre located at 170 N. Dearborn Street in Chicago through  December 29th with performances daily except Monday ( there is a 2 p.m. performance on the 24th)  For complete schedule, visit www.GoodmanTheatre.org

Tickets range from $25-$82 and are available at the box office, by phone at 312-443-3800 or online at www.GoodmanTheatre.org

There are some special prices as well:

Mezztix- half price on day of performance ( subject to availability)

If you only see one holiday production this year, and you have never witnessed this one, try to make this the start of your family tradition.

To view what others say, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to review round-up and click at “Christmas Carol”


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