A holiday tradition: Goodman's "A Christmas Carol"

December 16, 2010 10:18:05 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 more than three decades. It is the Goodman's yearly holiday gift to the city. Throughout its history at the Goodman, over 1 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.

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.

One of the show's most joyous and poignant scenes is the party hosted by young Scrooge's generous, kind-hearted boss Mr. Fezziwig. The Christmas Carol cast performed the scene live on ABC7 News at 11 a.m.

This is the 33d season for the perennial holiday story and performances run through New Year's Eve. Renowned Chicago actor John Judd appears for the first time in the legendary role of Ebenezer Scrooge and leads a cast of 26 this holiday season, including 10 Chicagoland actors also appearing in "A Christmas Carol" for the first time. A record 200 children auditioned for this year's show, staged for the fifth consecutive year by Chicago actor/director William Brown.

An all newly-cast Cratchit family includes young performers Cameron Conforti (South Elgin) as Tiny Tim; Megan Delaney (Western Springs) as Belinda; Emma Gordon (Clarendon Hills) as Emily; Peyton Young (Mokena) as Martha; and Grant Mitchell (Elmhurst) as Peter. Other newcomers to the Goodman's production include Nate Burger (Chicago) as Dick Wilkins; Naren Chaudhry (Oak Park) as Turkey Boy; Aaron Holland (Chicago) as Percy; Eric Parks (Chicago) as Young Scrooge; and Lisa Tejero (Chicago) as Miss Crumb.

Veteran actors returning to the production include Susan Felder (Chicago) as Mrs. Fezziwig; Tim Gittings (Chicago) as Topper; Katie Jeep (Chicago) as Abby; Anish Jethmalani (Chicago) as the Ghost of Jacob Marley; John Lister (Chicago) as Mr. Fezziwig; Michael Perez (Chicago) as Mr. Ortle; Ron Rains (Chicago) as Bob Cratchit; Tiffany Scott (Chicago) as Belle; Christine Sherrill (St. Charles) as Mrs. Cratchit; Susan Shunk (Chicago) as Ghost of Christmas Past; Andy Truschinski (Chicago) as Fred; and Penelope Walker (Chicago) as Ghost of Christmas Present. Also returning to the production are musicians Justin Amolsch (Chicago), Greg Hirte (Chicago) and Malcolm Ruhl (Highland Park).

Tickets to "A Christmas Carol" (starting at $25) are currently on sale at goodmantheatre.org and can also be purchased at the box office at 170 N. Dearborn or by phone at (312) 443-3800.

Mezztix are half-price mezzanine tickets available at noon at the box office, and at 10 a.m. online (promo code MEZZTIX) day of performance; Mezztix are not available by telephone. 10Tix are $10 rear mezzanine tickets for students available at noon at the box office, and at 10 a.m. online on the day of performance; 10Tix are not available by telephone. A valid student I.D. must be presented when picking up the tickets. Limit four per student with I.D. All tickets are subject to availability and handling fees apply. Discounted Group Tickets for 15 persons or more are available (312) 443-3800.


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