Last night, this Grinch's heart grew three sizes.
Jaya and I attened the Opening Night performance of The Goodman Theatre's A CHRISTMAS CAROL and not only is this production the best I have ever seen of this classic Christmas story, it also filled me with such incredible joy for the season.
And ya'll know me, so you know that if I'm saying that - - me - - Mr. Bitter McJaded, son of Ms. Cynical Bitch, the Third - - that this show has a tremendous heart.
First, there is William Brown's direction which is superb. Then, there is a performance by Jonathan Weir as Scrooge which takes place on so many levels at once that it breaths full life into a character we all thought we knew backwards and forwards. I laughed out loud (ya'll know my gut laugh) when as he winced at the Christmas carollers outside his door and I cried as he watched his sister come to bring his younger self home for the holiday. Yeah...I cried...a lot...
Then, there is 1st grader Ryan Cowhey as Tiny Tim, who is quite possibly the cutest thing to ever grace the stage at the Goodman (and that INCLUDES me and my delightful turn as Flower Vendor in THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA). This little boy cracked Jaya and I up and then, when he walked across the Cratchit house to get to his chair, not a soul made a sound in the theatre. This little boy will steal your heart... no... you'll give it to him freely.
Of course, Jaya's heart was stolen by the Ghost of Christmas Past as played by Steve Haggard (hopefully, no relation to Ted Haggard, but I didn't meet him to actually ask...). His new take on this first of three spirits to visit Scrooge was modern and fun and a blast to watch.
But it is the delightful Sharon Sachs and Bradley Mott that steal the show - - especially as the Fezzywigs. Bradley Mott is charming in everything he does, all the time, period and I could watch Sharon Sachs read a transcript from BREAKING BONNADUCE and find her funny and sexy and glorious!
So, to steal a line from AUNTIE MAME (not that crappy Lucille Ball / Jerry Herman movie musical - - the REAL movie with Roz Russell...), if you need a little Christmas, watch a performance of The Goodman Theatre's A CHRISTMAS CAROL and this cast will fill you with holiday spirit.
And just in case the incredibly hot guy with the mohawk (not a "faux-hawk" which I can't stand... this boy had a real mohawk) and the black jacket dotted with safety pins who was sitting in the row behind Jaya and me (that would be row D, Seat 7 or 8 on House Right, I believe) for some reason stumbles onto this blog, please know that I am available and I would drink your bathwater like egg nog this holiday season. Get it? Got it? Good.