"A Christmas Carol": A holiday tradition at Goodman Theatre

December 3, 2009 9:40:12 AM PST
For many Chicago families a trip to the Goodman Theatre during the holidays is a cherished tradition. They return every year to see A Christmas Carol come to life. The Goodman has been staging the classic Charles Dickens' story for over three decades. The Daily Herald calls it the Goodman's annual Christmas gift to Chicago.

Throughout its history at the Goodman, over one million people have experienced A Christmas Carol and the production has hosted six directors, seven Scrooges, 27 Tiny Tims, and nearly 20,000 "Bah, Humbug!"s.

"As the annual holiday tradition for thousands of families, as well as the entry point to theater for a legion of young people, A Christmas Carol at the Goodman has made an astonishing impact on Chicago," said Executive Director Roche Schulfer, who was instrumental in originating the production at Goodman Theatre 32 years ago. www.GoodmanTheatre.org "We are proud to consistently deliver the definitive holiday theatrical offering in our region-a first-rate, glorious production that has touched the lives of over a million theatergoers."

Based on Charles Dickens' 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol is the tale of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, who is opposed to holiday cheer and indifferent to the sufferings of the poor in Victorian London. Scrooge is visited by four ghosts who offer him the opportunity to sympathize with his fellow man. Dickens' famous characters include Scrooge's kind-hearted clerk, Bob Cratchit, and his family, including Tiny Tim; the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future; the merry-making Fezziwig couple; and the Ghost of Jacob Marley.

Acclaimed Chicago actor Larry Yando is once again starring as Scrooge, as he has done for the past 2 years. A former Goodman Scrooge, William Brown returns as director for the 4th time, but he has made some changes to the 2009 show, including a new hand-painted backdrop designed by Olivier- and Tony Award-winning set designer Todd Rosenthal. In addition to there are twelve newcomers to the production.

New talents to this year's production include John Babbo (River Forest) as Tiny Tim; Susan Felder (Chicago) as Mrs. Fezziwig; Jessie Mueller (Evanston) as Belle; Christine Sherrill (St. Charles) as Mrs. Cratchit; Behzad Dabu (Chicago) as Dick Wilkins; Matt Gold (Deerfield) as Turkey Boy; Lauren Patten (Downers Grove) as Martha Cratchit; Michael Perez (Chicago) as Mr. Ortle; Nathan Sabo (Darien) as Peter Cratchit and Scrooge as a Boy; Alex Weisman (Evanston) as Ghost of Christmas Past; Mackenzie Wilkin (Wilmette) as Belinda Cratchit and Fan; Andy Truschinski (Chicago) as Young Scrooge and Ghost of Christmas Future.

Veteran Chicago actors returning to the production include Tim Gittings as Topper; Caroline Heffernan as Emily Cratchit; Katie Jeep as Abby; Anish Jethmalani as Ghost of Jacob Marley; Anne Joseph as Mrs. Crumb; Adam Poss as Percy, Ron Rains as Bob Cratchit; Matt Schwader as Fred; Brett Tuomi as Mr. Fezziwig; and Penelope Walker as Ghost of Christmas Present. Also returning to the production are musicians Justin Amolsch, Greg Hirte, Bethany Jorgensen and Malcolm Ruhl (Highland Park).

A Christmas Carol runs through December 31 in the Goodman's Albert Theatre. For performance information and tickets visit GoodmanTheatre.org or the box office (170 North Dearborn); you can also phone 312.443.3800.

Visit the Goodman virtually: watch artist interviews at ExploreTheGoodman.org/A-Christmas-Carol/; catch the latest news from rehearsal on the Goodman's Blog, Goodman-Theatre.Blogspot.com/; Friend the cast at Facebook.com/GoodmanTheatre and peek behind-the-scenes at YouTube.com/TheGoodmanTheatre.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Through December 31
Goodman Theatre
170 N. Dearborn, Chicago
312. 443.3800
GoodmanTheatre.org


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