By John Lister, Mr. Fezziwig in A Christmas Carol
I did A Christmas Carol for five years in a row here at the Goodman, but it has been three years since the last production. Coming back this year feels like coming home for the holidays after not being there for a few years. The silverware and table are the same, but there are new faces and stories I have not heard before.
It's weird, because there are many similarities and some of the same people. But, I have never played Mr. Fezziwig before and never worked with many of these folks. This show, unlike any other, has a built-in comfort factor, because of the well-known story and the season. When a show works, it becomes a family, and this is the best time of year to be around family. Also, being downtown with the Christmas market and the lights adds to the feeling.
One thing that always amazes me is how I can hear new things in basically the same script. With different actors saying the same lines year after year you would expect it to get stale, but everyone brings their own stuff to it, and throughout the process I hear words and intentions I did not know were there. The show really is different and not just because there are new ideas, but more because there are new and different people. I am really looking forward to seeing where we all end up on this journey.