They arrived wreathed in smiles. They sang carols and crossed their fingers.
More than 150 children vied for the coveted roles of Tiny Tim and assorted waifs in the Goodman Theatre's 34th production of "A Christmas Carol." Larry Yando reprises his role as Scrooge in the Dickens classic about a miser haunted by four ghosts on Christmas Eve.
As is tradition, parents were barred from auditions so kids could relax. That's not to say tykes lack adult supervision. Sssh. It's a trade secret, but the actors cast as Bob and Mrs. Cratchit are typically real-life parents with a gift for putting children at ease. By opening night, the Cratchits are a family.
"Acting with kids is not the easiest thing in the world," director Steve Scott says. "We try to find actors who enjoy that, and enjoy being around kids, and usually have their own families."
Joy is a hallmark of the Yule sugarplum, running through Dec. 31 at the Chicago theater.