A Christmas Carol – By Katie Fenton

May 21, 2012 in Cindy Bandle Young Critics by Cindy-Bandle-Young-Critics

As a famous elf once said, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” Being an avid Christmas Caroller, I normally couldn’t agree more with this statement; however, my latest trip to the Goodman Theatre has changed my mind. The best way to get in the Christmas spirit is to see their famous A Christmas Carol.

I attended the play the Sunday after Thanksgiving, normally much too early to be thinking about Christmas for me. However, after walking out of the theater, I couldn’t help but start whistling Christmas tunes because it had instilled in me such a Christmas spirit. The play was truly fantastic as it brought to life the classic Charles Dickens’ story in a new and fascinating way.

The set design and production elements of this play blew me away. The large pieces of scenery that moved on and offstage were whimsical but realistic. They helped me to believe throughout the play. So much so that I completely missed some of the technicalities that I normally spot. At one point Scrooge is lifted off his feet as he begins to fly with the Ghost of Christmas Past. I completely missed when and where he had the strings attached to his costume in order make this happen. He was on stage the entire time and yet it was done with such skill that the I eye could not see it. Being a complete theater buff, this truly impressed me and it clearly shows how talented the production team was.

The credit of talent must also go to the cast as well. Larry Yando played Ebenezer Scrooge, and it was more than clear how extraordinarily talented he was. He brought such a liveliness and fun, comedic touch to the role-something I hadn’t seen it before. His extraordinary version of Scrooge made me laugh countless times, but he also touched my heart. I have seen this play many times, and in many different theaters, but he is by far the best Ebenezer Scrooge that I have ever seen.

Ultimately, the Christmas joy surrounding this play is inescapable. Every scene exudes a fresh, festive spirit. As the cast sang to the audience “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” during the final curtain call, I breathed in the comforting love of Christmas. In that moment I knew I had to see the production again next year, and every year after, because it is too good to pass up.