It’s that time of year when families are looking for ways to spend time together celebrating the holiday spirit. For those looking for something more meaningful than a trip to the mall, there are two wonderful versions of A Christmas Carol in the Chicago area that are worth putting on your December calendar.
The Goodman Theatre has showcased A Christmas Carol in its main stage for 35 years. This glorious production is scary, funny and heart-warming at the same time. The cast charmed the audience at every turn, even when Scrooge was at his Scroogiest.
There are so many fun moments in the play, but my favorite was when the Ghost of Christmas Present (Penelope Walker) and Scrooge (Larry Yando) were on their journey. When she stepped on stage I said, “Wow! Look at that dress.” It was a bright and sparkly as her personality. Scrooge was at his best with her at his side.
During intermission my husband said, “Does Scrooge sound like anyone?” I said, “What do you mean?” Since my husband read the Playbill profile, he knew that Larry Yando appeared as Scar in the national tour of The Lion King. We saw the Chicago performance with our girls. Every once in a while during the second half of A Christmas Carol I heard Scrooge as Scar.
This is a good show for families with elementary school or older children. The show runs for two hours and 15 minutes, with one fifteen minute intermission. When we saw the show there were quite a few children considering it was a Sunday evening performance. The youngest near us was about four years old. She was very quite the first half, but a bit fidgety the second half. She was very good throughout, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that very small children are not really designed to sit for long periods of time. Also, the Ghost of Christmas Future scared her a bit.
The Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre presents a shorter version of A Christmas Carol. The Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre has history of lovely children’s productions. We saw The Wizard of Oz a few months back. This was a full-scale, beautiful production, albeit just a bit shorter than you might see in other places.
A Christmas Carol runs a bit more than an hour, making it a good length for families with younger children. The beauty of the Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre’s production is older kids won’t feel cheated. This is a richly detailed show fit for the whole family.
The Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre also offers special lunch or dinner buffet packages where families can dine with Santa before the show. You can combine a meal with Santa and a traditional holiday show.
Wherever you decide to see A Christmas Carol, be sure to buy your tickets soon. This is an annual tradition for many families, so tickets are sure to go quickly.
Disclosure: We saw A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre during the media night performances. We have received free media tickets for Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre performances in the past.