Most people know the theater expression "Break a leg." But when Sam

Blackman Boyles, who played Tiny Tim in the 1997 and 1998 production

of McCarter Theater’s "A Christmas Carol" was cast again as Tiny Tim

in 1999, literally broke his ankle in the backyard playing soccer, it

was a sad day indeed.

"Poor Sam could not do the show," says Cheryl Mintz, 43, who has

served as supervising stage manager for "A Christmas Carol" for 13

years (she has been resident stage manager for 15 years), during which

time she has auditioned some 1,300 children for the 13 "young

ensemble" roles in the production. What was remarkable about that day,

says Mintz, is that Sam was actually having a play date with two other

boys – who just happened to be a past and future Tiny Tim

respectively, and were brothers to boot.

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