Retired Chicago Bear Brian Urlacher Will Make Goodman Debut for Make-A-Wish Illinois Today
It isn't every day you can tell a Chicago Bear to "break a leg!" Goodman Theatre's 7th annual "Make-A-Wish Night" features the superstar former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher and 17-year-old beneficiary Kenneth Schumacher, who wishes to be a part of a professional theatrical production. Urlacher and Schumacher don costumes tailored especially for them and appear in select scenes of the 36th annual production of A Christmas Carol, Chicago's favorite holiday tradition. Tickets for the one-night-only appearance today, December 27 at 8pm are available online at GoodmanTheatre.org/Joy, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). BMO Harris Bank is the Major Corporate Sponsor, PepsiCo is the Official Beverage Sponsor and Aon and KPMG are the Corporate Sponsor Partners of A Christmas Carol.
"To host a legendary Chicago Bear in a legendary production at the Goodman is a tremendous honor. We thank Mr. Urlacher for graciously giving his time and talent-and we welcome Mr. Schumacher to his Goodman Theatre debut!" said Roche Schulfer, Goodman Theatre's Executive Director who established A Christmas Carol as an annuAl Goodman holiday offering in 1977. "Make-A-Wish Night is arguably the most special and exciting night for all of us here at the Goodman. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with this fantastic organization."
A resident of Lemont, IL, Kenneth Schumacher is a freshman at Northern Illinois University where he is studying technical theater design in the university's School of Theatre & Dance. His on-stage appearance in A Christmas Carol precedes a backstage experience in Wicked on Broadway in New York, to take place in Spring 2014. "I'm blown away by what I am getting the opportunity to experience," said Schumacher, who first appeared on stage in Lemont High School's production of Our Town. "I am really looking forward to being at Goodman Theatre, and I can't wait until I go to Broadway."
Brian Urlacher makes his Goodman Theatre debut. The eight-time Pro Bowler started 180-of-182 games played in 13 seasons (2000-12) with the Bears recording a franchise-record 1,779 tackles. The ninth overall selection in the 2000 NFL Draft recorded 41.5 sacks, 22 interceptions, 16 opponent fumble recoveries and 11 forced fumbles for Chicago. Urlacher was honored as the 2005 Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year, the 2000 NFL Rookie of the Year, was a four-time All-Pro (2001-02, 2005-06), a two-time Brian Piccolo Award winner (2000 and 2007) and was named the team's Ed Block Courage Award winner in 2011.
About Goodman Theatre's Partnership with Make-A-Wish Illinois
The Urlacher/Schumacher appearance marks the 7th year in which the Goodman has partnered with Make-A-Wish Illinois, pairing a beneficiary with a sports hero or local celebrity to brighten the lives of local wish children. Previous years' appearances have featured:
2012 - La'Ren Kimble (Rockford, age 8) with Special Advisor to the President and C.O.O. Chicago Bulls Scottie Pippen
2011 - Emily Beazley (Chicago, age 11) with Chicago White Sox Manager Robin Ventura
2010 - Charles Finch (Markham, age 13) with Chicago Blackhawks Ambassador and Hall of Famer Bobby Hull
2009 - Maria Stavropoulos (Frankfort, age 17) with NBC-5's LeeAnn Trotter
2008 - Emma Cohen (Evanston, age 17) with WGN-9's Dean Richards
2007 - Michael Urbanik (Orland Park, age 21) with WGN-9's Dean Richards
Now in its 28th year, Make-A-Wish Illinois continues to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich their lives with hope, strength and joy. Since 1985, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 11,000 wishes to children across Illinois. For more information call 312.602.WISH or visit Illinois.Wish.org.
Goodman Theatre's production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol has been hailed "a joyous present for the entire family" (Chicago Sun-Times), "the granddaddy of Chicago holiday entertainment" (Time Out Chicago) and "the crown jewel of the holiday season" (Daily Herald). Adapted from Dickens' 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol is the unforgettable tale of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, a wealthy business man with a disdain for holiday cheer in Victorian London. One Christmas, Scrooge is visited by four ghosts who take him on an incredible journey that offers him a new perspective on everything from his dusty past to his dark future, and presents him with an opportunity to sympathize with his fellow man and rediscover life and love.
Goodman Theatre is world renowned for the quality and scope of its artistic programming and its commitment to improving life in the community. Artistic Director Robert Falls' and Executive Director Roche Schulfer's leadership has earned unparalleled artistic distinction and experienced unprecedented success, staging more than 80 world premieres, earning numerous awards for its productions-including the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre (1992) and the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined (2009)-and producing more than 25 new-work commissions. Founded in 1925 and housed in a state-of-the-art two-theater complex in the downtown Chicago Theatre District, the Goodman is Chicago's oldest and largest not-for-profit producing theater, named "Best Regional Theatre" by Time magazine and "top dog of the Chicago theater scene" by Frommer's. American Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre. Ruth Ann M. Gillis is Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Sherry John is President of the Women's Board and Lauren Blair is President of the Scenemakers Board, the Goodman's young professionals auxiliary group. Visit the Goodman virtually: watch artist interviews, view production photos, catch the latest news and more at GoodmanTheatre.org and our blog. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, peek behind the scenes on YouTube.