Tis the season for holiday theatergoing! This year, Goodman Theatre offers two choices for Chicago audiences—Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol, now in its 41st year, and the Goodman debut of David Sedaris’ contemporary, irreverent The Santaland Diaries, adapted by Joe Mantello. The Goodman kicks off the holiday season on Saturday, November 17 at 7pm with its annual tree lighting featuring cast members of A Christmas Carol, prior to the evening performance. A Christmas Carol directed by Henry Wishcamper appears November 17 – December 30 in the Albert Theatre; tickets are $25 - $119 (subject to change). The Santaland Diaries directed by Steve Scott appears November 30 – December 30 in the Owen Theatre; tickets are $15-45 (subject to change). Tickets to both productions are available by telephone 312.443.3800, online at GoodmanTheatre.org or at the Box Office (170 N. Dearborn).
More than 1.5 million people have experienced Goodman Theatre’s family-favorite, A Christmas Carol, “one of Chicago's treasured Christmas traditions” (Theatermania), now returning for the 41st year. Under Artistic Associate Henry Wishcamper’s direction for the sixth year, the annual production “remains the greatest seasonal story of all” (Chicago Tribune) and features Chicago actor Larry Yando, who leads the 26-member cast as the irascible businessman Ebenezer Scrooge. Joining Yando is Paris Strickland, who reprises her role as Tiny Tim for the second year. One Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by four ghosts who take him on a spectacular adventure through his past, present and future, helping him rediscover the joys of life, love and friendship. The run includes a first-ever Spanish-translated performance (December 28 at 8pm) and a Sensory-Friendly performance in partnership with Autism Speaks-Chicago (December 29 at 2pm). Bank of America is the Major Corporate Sponsor, Macy’s is a Corporate Sponsor Partner and Sensory-Friendly Performance Sponsor, Allstate Insurance Company and KPMG LLP are the Corporate Sponsor Partners and the Chicago Tribune is the Media Partner.
“Funny, campy, foul-mouthed and festive” (Chicago Reader), The Santaland Diaries is David Sedaris’ “vivid, hilarious portrait of family Christmas with his deft combination of wicked humor and scalpel-sharp observation” (Chicago magazine). Adapted by Joe Mantello and directed by longtime Goodman Artistic Associate Steve Scott, this “theatrical stocking stuffer” (Chicago Reader) is perfect for those who prefer their eggnog spiked. Chicago favorite Matt Crowle makes his Goodman debut in a solo performance as the strapped-for-cash struggling actor who takes a job as “Crumpet,” an elf at Macy’s Santaland—and his hilarious observations are more naughty than nice. Sedaris debuted The Santaland Diaries as an essay on National Public Radio in 1992. On the heels of that success, it was published in his essay collections Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice. It was subsequently adapted by Mantello into a one-act, one-man stage production, which premiered at Atlantic Theater Company (1996) and was performed across the nation for over the past two decades. For “mature elves” only.
ABOUT GOODMAN THEATRE
AMERICA’S “BEST REGIONAL THEATRE” (Time magazine), Goodman Theatre is a premier not-for-profit organization distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and civic engagement. Led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the theater’s artistic priorities include new play development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics (celebrated revivals include Falls’ productions of Death of a Salesman and The Iceman Cometh). Goodman Theatre artists and productions have earned two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards, over 160 Jeff Awards and many more accolades. In addition, the Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle;” and its annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, which celebrates its 41st production this season, has created a new generation of theatergoers. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production partner with local off-Loop theaters and national and international companies by providing financial support or physical space for a variety of artistic endeavors.
Committed to three core values of Quality, Diversity and Community, the Goodman proactively makes inclusion the fabric of the institution and develops education and community engagement programs that support arts as education. This practice uses the process of artistic creation to inspire and empower youth, lifelong learners and audiences to find and/or enhance their voices, stories and abilities. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of such programming, most offered free of charge, and has vastly expanded the theater’s ability to touch the lives of Chicagoland citizens (with 85% of youth participants coming from underserved communities) since its 2016 opening.
Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation of the new Goodman center in 2000.
Today, Goodman Theatre leadership also includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Brian Dennehy, Rebecca Gilman, Henry Godinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Scott, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. David W. Fox, Jr. is Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Denise Stefan Ginascol is Women’s Board President and Megan McCarthy Hayes is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.
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