Tis the season for ‘A Christmas Carol’

Larry Yando as Scrooge in Goodman theatre's audio version of 'A Christmas Carol' (Photo courtesy of Goodman Theatre
Larry Yando as Scrooge in Goodman theatre’s audio version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ (Photo courtesy of Goodman Theatre

3 stars

Goodman Theatre’s long-running holiday favorite opened Dec. 1, not as a play on Goodman’s Albert Theatre’s stage or a show filmed live to be seen on certain dates or a zoomed show to watch now and later.

Running through Dec. 31 at carol.goodmantheatre.org, Goodman’s “A Christmas Carol” in 2020 is a fresh, 80-minute production performed as an audio play.

Starring Larry Yando who after years of portraying Dicken’s transformation of mean miser into giddy, generous gent, can most assuredly do Scrooge’s bah humbug in his sleep. Directed by Jessica Thebus, he and the rest of the cast bring the tale to life even without visuals.

However, it does matter how you listen. When first tried on my computer, I had trouble hearing all the words distinctly pronounced. But when tried later on facebook on my iPhone, it sounded much better. So, tip 1: If happy with the sound don’t worry but if not, try other devices. I didn’t catch all the narration when originally listening. But since the show does not have visuals so you know what is happening, the narration is very important. Chicago actor, writer, director Andrew White does an excellent job guiding listeners through the actions as the show’s narrator.

Secondly, although I do listen to music and news on the radio I felt I needed more to get into the personality of the recording and the  actors doing the show. So, tip 2: Before clicking on the show go to carol/goodman, click on The Play at the top and scroll down to the Behind-the-Scene trailer.

One last thought. The sound effects are excellent as is the music but I needed some magic. So, tip 3: Visit A Christmas Carol/35th Anniversary/ you Tube to learn about the show’s beginning, a director’s and Yando’s thoughts on the story and see a couple of short clips.

Enjoy the retelling in a different way.

For more shows visit Theatre in Chicago.

Jodie Jacobs

Related: Chicagotheaterand arts.com/around-town

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