As Larry Yando returns for a 15th year of playing Scrooge in the Goodman Theatre’s beloved A Christmas Carol, the Jefferson Award-winning actor gives us the scoop on what keeps him coming back to the iconic role.
For well over a decade, Larry Yando has been the scowling face of Ebenezer Scrooge in the Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol.
Larry Yando has tackled plenty of roles in his decadeslong acting career, from Scar in the national tour of The Lion King to King Lear at Chicago Shakespeare, Roy Cohn in Angels in America at Court Theatre and a host of other heavyweight parts on stages across the city and beyond. For many Chicagoans, though, Yando is synonymous with one thing: Scrooge. It’s no surprise, given that he has performed as the famously bah-humbugging curmudgeon in the Goodman Theatre’s renowned A Christmas Carol for the past 14 years—and now he’s back for his 15th. Here, the veteran performer gives us his take on the role. Nov. 19-Dec. 31, 170 N. Dearborn St.
What do you enjoy most about playing Scrooge?
The audience’s faces at the end of the play.
What keeps the role feeling fresh after all these years?
The brilliant actors that I get to look at every night. The old friends who I trust implicitly who have done it before and the array of new faces too.
If you were to play any other role in the show, what would it be?
The narrator, because it would give me great pride and pleasure to lead the audience through this story.
Do you have any performance day rituals?
I’m somebody who’s not chatty before a show. I go quiet. I sit backstage. There’s a little chair upstage left. And I sit there for five minutes before places are called.
What can we expect from you in 2023?
I have no idea. I honestly don’t. And actually, that’s what you could expect from me, and probably any actor, for their entire life. Because the nature of theater is you work in two-to-three-month increments. And you never know what will pop up after that. If you’re lucky, it will be another production that touches your heart. And if you’re only fortunate, it’ll be any production at all. And if you’re unfortunate, it’ll be lots of auditioning.