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Larry Yando as Ebenezer Scrooge at the Goodman Theatre; photo by Brian Kuhlmann

A Real Scrooge

by Matt Lee | Men's Book Chicago magazine | November 9, 2012

For Chicago holiday traditions, the Goodman Theatre’s annual production of A Christmas Carol is right up there with the Christkindlmarket and white-lit trees down Michigan Avenue. While A Christmas Carol may be kind of like wine—even an OK version is good—the Goodman has kept audiences coming back for 35 years by going above and beyond to bring out all of the story’s innate pathos onstage.

On that note, veteran Chicago actor Larry Yando is also becoming a tradition of sorts—returning to the Goodman as Scrooge for the fifth time. “It’s not Mr. Magoo’s version of A Christmas Carol,” says Yando, who recently won the 2012 Jeff Award for Actor in a Principal Role for his turn in Angels in America at the Court Theatre. “It’s about forgiveness and letting go, healing and pain. I tend to be darker onstage and I knew if I took the role I would have to go to dark places—but that’s what this show’s about. It’s not fluff; it’s a deep, moving story of a man finding life again. My opinion is that if you soften how damaged he is, how mean and vengeful he is, the payoff at the end doesn’t work.”

That means that audiences can expect to be taken on a tumultuous journey through Scrooge’s tortured soul during the Goodman’s run of A Christmas Carol from Nov. 17 through Dec. 29. And after the play? May we suggest theatergoers head down the street to the Christkindlmarket to lighten up with a little spiced wine and strudel?

Yando’s Hots
The Hudson Valley in October, Shakespeare, spoken not read, Trader Joe’s bibimbop, The Coffee Studio staff, animal rescue, Stargate SG-1 in syndication, WLUW, actors

Yando’s Nots
Reality shows, the present value of my home, photo- enforced traffic lights, abandoned pets, myopia, Chicago sales tax, bullies