As the month of November comes to a close so does the deadline for NaNoWriMo, the nationwide program that encourages amateur writers to take on the near impossible task of writing a novel in one month. Even the brilliant and prolific pro Charles Dickens took six weeks (a record pace) to compose his novella A Christmas Carol.
However, it’s unlikely anything that comes out NaNoWriMo will ever measure up to the quality of the Dickens Christmas classic. And that’s no insult to NaNoWriMo writers since few other professional novelists, if any, have created a fiction of such magnitude or influence.
A Christmas Carol is the reason Brits and Yanks get December 25th off of work. What other novel can boast a similar feat? A Christmas Carol features the unforgettable Ebenezer Scrooge, a character more well known and more easily quotable than any other in the English language.
Because of its universal themes of regret and rejuvenation, various versions of A Christmas Carol have been recreated as the holiday episodes of more than a few TV series. The story has also been adapted into an opera, ballet, and Broadway musical as well as supplying the content for many movies and countless theatrical productions.
While there’s yet to be a film adaptation to truly capture the humor, horror, heartbreak and humanity of the story, there is one stage production that does justice to the genius of Dickens, and that’s Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol. Thanks largely to the pitch-perfect performance by Larry Yando as Scrooge and the exquisite work of Resident Lighting Designer Robert Christen and Set Designer Todd Rosenthal, this play is a must-see for children and adults regardless of religious preference.
“I am honored and excited to direct this beautiful, incredibly moving show with a long history as a centerpiece of Chicago’s holiday celebrations,” states director and Goodman Artistic Associate Henry Wishcamper. “I’m thrilled that Larry returns with his complex, hilarious, deeply-felt performance as Scrooge.”
With Music Director Malcolm Ruhl and Sound Designer Richard Woodbury, the first-rate production includes music by Andrew Hansen, costume design by Heidi Sue McMath, choreography by Tommy Rapley, and flying effects provided by ZFX Inc.
A Christmas Carol runs through December 28 in the Goodman’s Albert Theatre. Tickets range from $25 to $83 and are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/Joy, by phone at 312-443-3800 or at the box office on 170 North Dearborn.