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the GOODMAN THEATRE
170 N. Dearborn Street
(312) 443-3800



review by Ed Vincent



NEW STAGE MAGIC AND RETURNING FAVORITES—
LARRY YANDO AS SCROOGE, MATTHEW ABRAHAM AS TINY TIM—
AMONG THE JOY IN A CHRISTMAS CAROL, DIRECTED FOR THE FIRST TIME BY HENRY WISHCAMPER



(Chicago, IL) The most wonderful time of the year is underway as rehearsals begin this week for Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol, “a joyous present for the entire family” (Chicago Sun-Times), in its 36th annual production. Directing the holiday favorite for the first time, Henry Wishcamper’s production features all-new on stage magic—set elements, special effects and more. The cast of 27 (below, includes 14 new and 13 returning cast members) stars Larry Yando, who most recently appeared in Mary Zimmerman’s production of The Jungle Book as Shere Khan, in his sixth turn as Ebenezer Scrooge and 8-year-old Matthew Abraham as Tiny Tim for the second year.

A Christmas Carol runs November 16 – December 28 in the Goodman’s Albert Theatre. Tickets ($25 - $83; subject to change) are available online at GoodmanTheatre.org/Joy, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). In addition, tickets to the November 26 and 27 performances are available for $36. BMO Harris Bank is the Major Corporate Sponsor, PepsiCo is the Official Beverage Sponsor and Aon and KPMG are the Corporate Sponsor Partners.





“I am honored and excited to direct this beautiful, incredibly moving show with a long history as a centerpiece of Chicago's holiday celebrations; it’s an amazing feeling to join that tradition,” said director and Goodman Artistic Associate Henry Wishcamper. “I'm thrilled that Larry returns with his complex, hilarious, deeply-felt performance as Scrooge. We have a great cast of newcomers and Chicago favorites joining him.”

Longtime Executive Director Roche Schulfer established A Christmas Carol as an annual Goodman holiday offering in 1977/1978—a time when only a handful of U.S. theaters mounted the production. Thirty-six years, 31 Tiny Tims and 20,000 “Bah, Humbug!”s later, 1.2 million theatergoers have experienced A Christmas Carol, which has also served as an entry point to theater for generations of Chicagoans. Stage and screen notables including Del Close, Harry J. Lennix, Felicia P. Fields, Raul Esparza, Sally Murphy and Frank Galati have appeared in the show over the years.

“It was impossible to imagine what a wide-reaching impact A Christmas Carol could have on the Chicago community,” said Schulfer, who marks 40 years at the Goodman this season. “Thousands of families make it an annual tradition; those who attended in their youth are now introducing it to their children and grandchildren. Henry’s production will feature many familiar delights that our audiences have come to count on, along with some surprises.”


A.C. Smith (Ghost Of Christmas Present) in
A Christmas Carol at Goodman Theatre


Wishcamper becomes the 10th director to helm the production over three decades. Previous directors include Tony Mockus (1978-1983); Gregory Mosher (1984); Sandra Grand (1985, 1986); Michael Maggio (1987, 1988); Steve Scott (1989-1992 and 2011, 2012); Chuck Smith (1993-1995); Henry Godinez (1996-2001); Kate Buckley (2002-2005); and William Brown (2006-2010). Yando is the production’s eighth Ebenezer Scrooge, a role previously played by veteran Chicago actors William J. Norris (1977-1983 and 1985-1990); Frank Galati (1984); Tom Mula (1991- 1997); Rick Snyder (1998- 2001); William Brown (2002-2005); Jonathan Weir (2006); and John Judd (2007).

Since 1989, the Goodman has used former dramaturg Tom Creamer’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic 1843 novella—the unforgettable tale of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, a wealthy business man with a disdain for holiday cheer in Victorian London. One Christmas, Scrooge is visited by four ghosts who take him on an incredible journey that offers him a new perspective on everything from his dusty past to his dark future, and presents him with an opportunity to sympathize with his fellow man and rediscover life and love. “The granddaddy of Chicago holiday entertainment” (Time Out Chicago), A Christmas Carol at Goodman Theatre is “the crown jewel of the holiday season” (Daily Herald).

Old Favorites, New Magic in the Goodman’s 36th Annual Production of A Christmas Carol Artistic Associate Henry Wishcamper Directs the Show For the First Time

Cast of A Christmas Carol

by Charles Dickens, adapted by Tom Creamer,
directed by Henry Wishcamper

* Denotes an actor new to the production


Matthew Abraham, age 8 (Skokie)……………….Tiny Tim
Justin Amolsch…………………………………….Musician/Mr. French
*Atra Asdou………………………………...........Belle/Pie Seller
*Haley Bolithon, age 13 (Arlington Heights)....….Martha Cratchit/Fan
*Donald Brearley………………………………..Alternate Scrooge
*Sarah Chalcroft………………………….……..Narrator/Miss Crumb
*Brynden M. Cleveland, age 10………………..Peter Cratchit/Turkey Boy
*Andrew Coil……………………………………Musician
*Matthew R. Dwyer, age 11……………….…..Boy Scrooge/Child in Doorway
*Josť Antonio GarciŠ…/…………………….Dick Wilkins/Topper/Chestnut Seller
Joe Foust……………………………………Jacob Marley/Young Marley/Old Joe
Gregory Hirte…………………………………Musician/Mr. Spinet
*Robert Hope……………….Young Scrooge/Hat Seller/Ghost of Christmas Future
Anish Jethmalani (Forest Park) …………...Fred
Elizabeth Ledo………………………….Ghost of Christmas Past/Philomena
Michael Lindner (Evanston)…………………......Mr. Fezziwig/Young Man
Francesca Mereu, age 8 (Evanston)…………….Emily Cratchit
*Mia Moore, 7…………….………..Belinda Cratchit
*Larry Neumann Jr………………………..Schoolmaster/Percy/Undertaker
*Steven Pringle……………………………….Mr. Ortle
Ron Rains……………………………..……..Bob Cratchit
Tania Richard………………………………..Abby/Charwoman
Malcolm Ruhl (Evanston)…………………..Musician/Mr. Keys
*Kim Schultz…………………………..Mrs. Fezziwig/Tree Seller/Young Woman
*A.C. Smith………………….……….Ghost Of Christmas Present/Poulterer
Penelope Walker………………………………………..Mrs. Cratchit
Larry Yando………………………………………………..Ebenezer Scrooge

The design team includes longtime Resident Lighting Designer Robert Christen, who has designed the lights for all 36 productions; Andrew Hansen (Composer), Heidi Sue McMath (Costume Designer since 2001), Tommy Rapley (Choreographer), Todd Rosenthal (Set Designer), Malcolm Ruhl (Music Director) and Richard Woodbury (Sound Designer). Flying effects are provided by ZFX Inc. Margaret Smith is the assistant director. Alden Vasquez is the production stage manager.

Tickets to A Christmas Carol ($25 – $83; subject to change) are currently on sale at GoodmanTheatre.org/Joy. Ticketsand subscriptions, including the Goodman WILD CARD, can also be purchased at the box office (170 North Dearborn),
by phone at 312.443.3800 or at GoodmanTheatre.org/Subscribe. Mezztix are half-price mezzanine tickets available at 12 noon at the box office, and at 10am online (promo code MEZZTIX) day of performance; Mezztix are not available by
telephone. 10Tix are $10 rear mezzanine tickets for students available at 12 noon at the box office, and at 10am online on the day of performance for Albert Theatre productions and in advance for all Owen Theatre productions; 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 10 persons
or more are available at 312.443.3820. Purchase Goodman Gift Certificates in any amount at GoodmanTheatre.org/GiftCertificates. The flexibility of Goodman Gift Certificates allow recipients to choose the production, date and time of their performance. Artists, dates and ticket prices are subject to change.


The Goodman’s 2013/2014 Season features nine productions on its two stages—six in the 856-seat Albert Theatre and three in the 400-seat flexible Owen Theatre, plus the annual New Stages series that includes two additional workshop
productions. Pullman Porter Blues by Cheryl L. West, directed by Chuck Smith, is now playing in the Albert Theatre (September 14 – October 27) and Smokefall by Noah Haidle, directed by Anne Kauffman, is now playing in the Owen Theatre (October 5 – November 3). Still to come in the 2013/2014 Season is the annual New Stages series (December 7 –22, 2013 in the Owen); the world premiere of Luna Gale by Rebecca Gilman, directed by Robert Falls (January 18 –February 23, 2014 in the Albert); Buzzer by Tracey Scott Wilson, directed by Jessica Thebus (February 8 – March 9, 2014 inthe Owen); the Chicago premiere of Venus in Fur by David Ives, directed by Joanie Schultz (March 8 – April 13, 2014 in the Albert); the Chicago premiere of The White Snake written and directed by Mary Zimmerman, based on the classic Chinese fable (May 3 – June 8, 2014 in the Albert); the world-premiere Goodman commission of Ask Aunt Susan by playwright-inresidence Seth Bockley, directed by Henry Wishcamper (May 24 – June 22, 2014 in the Owen); and a major revival of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s Brigadoon, directed and choreographed by Rachel Rockwell (June 27 – August 3, 2014 in the Albert).

About Goodman Theatre

Named “Best Regional Theatre” by Time magazine and “top dog of the Chicago theater scene” by Frommer’s, Goodman Theatre is world renowned for the quality and scope of its artistic programming and its commitment to improving life in the
community. Artistic Director Robert Falls’ and Executive Director Roche Schulfer’s leadership has earned unparalleled artistic distinction and experienced unprecedented success, staging more than 80 world premieres, earning numerous
awards for its productions—including the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre (1992) and the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined (2009)—and producing more than 25 new-work commissions. Founded in 1925 and housed in a state-of-the-art twotheater complex in the downtown Chicago Theatre District, the Goodman is Chicago’s oldest and largest not-for-profit producing theater. American Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre. Ruth Ann M. Gillis is Chairman of the
Board of Trustees, Sherry John is President of the Women’s Board and Lauren Blair is President of the Scenemakers Board, the Goodman’s young professionals auxiliary group. Visit the Goodman virtually: watch artist interviews, view production photos, catch the latest news and more at GoodmanTheatre.org and our blog. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, peek behind the scenes on YouTube.

 




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A.C. Smith (Ghost Of Christmas Present) in A Christmas Carol at Goodman Theatre