Taylor will make his stage debut with his hometown Berkshire Theater Group in Massachusetts playing the put-upon clerk opposite Mr. Scrooge.
Despite the 63-year-old Taylor's lack of experience and his age difference with family-man Cratchit, company leaders say they made the right choice.
"I think he's perfect for the role," co-director Eric Hill told the Berkshire Eagle. "Cratchit is a natural, self-effacing character, humble, very unassuming and gentle, trying to find the right path through difficult challenges. James seems to have a natural instinct for such situations."
Taylor will have plenty of family support when he hits the stage. His wife, Kim, has been cast as Mrs. Cratchit and 10-year-old sons Rufus and Henry will have supporting roles as well.
The 11 performances begin Dec. 17 at the 738-seat Colonial Theater in Pittsfield.