There are actors, and there are institutions.
In the world of Chicago theater, Larry Yando is the latter.
For more than three decades, Yando has lent his towering talent to playhouses throughout the city, assuming a multitude of roles. To name just a few: He has raged across the stage as King Lear, ruined lives as Roy Cohn in Angels in America, and schemed as Jafar in Aladdin.
Now he’s starring in his 14th production of the Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol. He’s playing Ebenezer Scrooge, as usual, making audiences laugh, cry, and remember to be merry.
After all these years, he still pours his complete self into the character.
“I act with abandon,” says Yando, a Rogers Park resident. “[After a show] I find myself the following morning in extreme agony because I’ve run around the stage like a 12-year-old. … So I learned early on that I need to take care of myself in the hours that I’m not in the play.”
What health products can’t you live without?
“My vitamins and supplements. I’m big on probiotics; I take lots of different strains once a day. I also take B complex, vitamin E, flaxseed oil, and vitamin A. And I always have a big smoothie. I mix pea protein from Trader Joe’s with frozen mangoes, pineapples, and blueberries; yogurt; and almond, cashew, or rice milk.”
What sort of movement helps you feel centered?
“I don’t do it enough, but biking. I bought an old 1970s bike that I found online.”
What do you like to eat?
“I’m a bagel fanatic. And only from one place in Chicago: New York Bagel and Bialy [4714 W. Touhy Ave., Lincolnwood]. I admit it — being from New York, I’m a bagel snob. I can’t eat any others.”