A Christmas Carol | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

A Christmas Carol 

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This Christmas Carol may be a cash cow, but among the truths in Tom Creamer's class-conscious adaptation is one that's central to charity and kindness: we're all "fellow passengers to the grave." There's also a timely slam at religious hypocrites who, in the name of a forgiving Savior, deny mercy to all but themselves. The special strengths of Goodman's 17th rendition, staged by Chuck Smith, are Larry Schanker's rich score, expanded and intricately interweaving the new carols, and Bea Rashid's choreography, which runs a folk-dance gamut from jig to reel to rural waltz. Tom Mula's less twinkly, more restrained Scrooge is all the more convincingly reformed; this Scrooge reacts so intensely to his memories that he creates an ironic counterweight to the happiness he can't touch. Bradley Mott, the new Fezziwig, is a hearty creature, his broad and bubbly face truly Dickensian, while Mary Ernster personalizes the Ghost of Christmas Past with an endearing cockney accent. No humbug anywhere here. 200 S. Columbus; 443-3800. $24-$32. See listing for schedule.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Liz Lauren.

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