There’s a reason some traditions become traditions: because they’re that magical, that pivotal, and that pitch-perfect for the holiday season.
A Christmas Carol at The Goodman Theatre is exactly that event (or will be for my family, if I have anything to say about it). Long familiar with the tale of Scrooge, Marley, the three ghosts, and Victorian-era London, I was prepared to enjoy this famous story. I was not, however, prepared to belly laugh, weep, and get caught up in this tale as if I were hearing it for the first time.
Larry Yando (whom my daughter gleefully recognized as The Jungle Book’s Shere Khan from this past summer), is a spectacular Ebenezer Scrooge. Curmudgeonly, sympathetic, and genuinely funny, he’s the absolute embodiment of what the famed character should be. The ensemble cast is wonderful as well, including a refreshingly multicultural Cratchit family (headed up by Ron Rains and Penelope Walker) and anchored by the terrific ghosts (Elizabeth Ledo, A.C. Smith, and Robert Hope, respectively).
Having been warned that some scenes and special effects might be too intense for the Little Kid set, I was slightly nervous about my four year-old’s reaction (and yes, okay, my own- that Ghost of Christmas Future gets me every time). But I really needn’t have worried. From the show’s festive opening, Nora was absolutely riveted. The only time she wasn’t perched on the edge of her seat was when she was crawling onto my lap to get a better view of the buzzing street scenes. (Spoiler: Immediately after Jacob Marley’s startling entrance and ominous words of caution to Scrooge, Nora turned to me and said “Was that the spooky part…or is it still coming?”)
don’t think anyone would be surprised to hear that the world-famous Goodman Theatre can bring the level of wonder that they do- but it’s still worth mentioning. The set itself is stunning. Scrooge’s residence in particular is a marvel of Wonderlandesque proportions, and the many backdrops and rotating set pieces were sheer fun to witness. Adapted from the Dickens classic by Tom Creamer and artfully directed by Henry Wishcamper, this retelling has enough new dialogue, character motivations, and unexpected moments to delight even the most Bah Humbug of theatergoers.
Or, if they happen to be nine months pregnant, make them bawl like a baby.
Runs Nov. 16th- Dec. 28th
Show time is approx. 2 hours, inc. one 15 minute intermission
For tickets and info, visit http://www.goodmantheatre.org/joy.
Disclousure: I was provided with complimentary tickets to this performance, but all opinions are my own.