Holiday magic lives in Scrooge

Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” that transformative tale of Mr. Scrooge, is as much a part of the Christmas season as lighted trees, warm egg nog and brightly wrapped gifts. And for more than 30 years, the Goodman Theatre has been bringing it to life for Chicago audiences.

I took my oldest son to see this production four years ago and I still remember us both being completely spellbound from beginning to end.Sunday night was my youngest son’s turn to experience this show’s magic. I’m not sure who was more excited.

The theater alone feels as if it were built for this play with its cozy interior and welcoming vibe.

I was thrilled to see that veteran (and brilliant) actor Larry Yando would again be playing the lead role of Mr. Scrooge. Yando was born to play this part and over the course of the show moves from ornery curmudgeon to most loveable man alive with theatrical ease. He alone is worth the price of admission. The music, the stage and the rest of the cast just knocks it out of the proverbial park.

I was also impressed with the ethnic diversity of the cast. Many kids (and grownups) will feel represented in this production.

Even if you think you know the story or have read it aloud to your children many times, seeing it played out with such expertise adds new meaning to the show’s beautiful massage of charity, kindness, grace, and love. The Goodman Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol” is simply the perfect way embrace the true spirit of Christmas.

The production is two hours and 15 minutes long, with a 15-minute intermission. Because some of the scenes with the ghosts might be slightly frightening to very young children, I think it’s best for kids 6 and up.

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