Musician, Music Director
Greg: This is going to be my 19th year in A Christmas Carol, over the course of 24 years. I first did it in 1994. It’s always like coming home for the holidays.
Malcolm: This is my 13th year doing the show. I love coming back. The story renews me personally, and I enjoy being part of something that engages our civic, moral and even spiritual responsibility to each other as human beings. A Christmas Carol is kind of like church for me. Ten weeks a year, I get to come tell this story and share the stage with some of the best storytellers I’ve ever known, and use my particular skill set as a musician while doing it. There’s always something every year that connects with me in a new way. At a recent read-through of the script in rehearsal, it was when Scrooge is transformed and says, “This is my room! My room! My curtains!” I was sitting there looking around the rehearsal room and thought, “This is my room! We’re all here! It’s all really happening!” I’m with some of my best friends and people who have become like family.
Greg: Music is a universal language. It strikes home, no matter who you are, and the songs in this production are beautiful, traditional songs. There are a lot of things that will take people back to more of a fundamental place.
Malcolm: I agree: music can sometimes communicate things words don’t, or does it in a different way. It reaches a different part of you. I think a lot of the traditional holiday season music we play strikes senses and memories in the audience that just the words, or even the set and costumes, don’t. So putting those all together and having musicians play live on stage really brings the story together.
Greg: The Goodman’s always been great about keeping live music in the show. It would be very easy to just pipe in the music, but there is something that, when you see people actually performing, strikes (pardon the pun) a note.
Enjoy the Sounds of the Musicians of A Christmas Carol
Throughout the 40 years of A Christmas Carol at Goodman Theatre, live music has been a part of the telling of this timeless tale. Smoking Bishop, the quartet of musicians who grace the streets of mid-19th century London, created a collection of tunes from the show, new arrangements of classic favorites and a few original original works inspired by Dickens’ Carol. With over 2,500 performances between them over the past 20 years, Justin Amolsch, Andrew Coil, Greg Hirte and Malcolm Ruhl continue their annual tradition of bringing holiday cheer to downtown Chicago. Now you can take a little of that home! Any Tune for a Tuppence is available in the Goodman Theatre gift shop, as well as on iTunes, Amazon and CDbaby.