Friday, November 23, 2012

A Christmas Story: Live on Stage!

Joe West & Johnny Rabe
We have traditions in our lives for reasons. They make us think of a great time in our lives or they are simply enjoyable. For my family, it was always watching A Christmas Story each year, many times reciting the lines along with the movie. That tradition was also passed to my nieces from my sister and while they were visiting me for Thanksgiving, we took in the new musical based on the movie of this name. 

What a great time we had!

Peter Billingsley
With a book by Joe Robinette and music and lyrics by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, the three have taken the original story of Jean Shepherd's life of growing up in Indiana and brought it to life as a wonderful musical. The expected moments from the 1983 movie are there, but with a magical 'punch' of seeing them live and on stage. From the tongue stuck to the flag pole, to the famous line of 'you'll shoot your eye out' - it is all there. John Rando's direction brings such heart to the piece by giving audiences that love the movie what they want to see and yet enhancing it through song and dance. I found the entire cast to be completely charming. We saw Joe West go on as Ralphie and thought he was wonderful as the boy wanting to get his BB gun for Christmas.  (The part is shared with Johnny Rabe who plays most performances.) Zac Ballard as his little brother stole our hearts (and his scenes) and John Bolton and Erin Dilly were the perfect pair of parents to these small boys. I also grew up watching The Wonder Years on TV, so seeing Dan Lauria as the older Ralphie/narrator was a huge bonus. 

Sometimes movie musicals leave us longing for the original, but I never felt that once. The music was a mix of old time fun and sounds of present day Broadway. The singing, the dancing - all was the perfect thing to get us in the holiday mood. I'm so thankful to the producers (one of which I personally know) for working so hard to get this show to Broadway. One of those is the original Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) from the movie. I believe it could become a staple for the New York scene for many years to come.

On a personal note, the ending truly touched me. It was ten years ago I lost my dad the week before Christmas. This show is about family and memories and I found myself wiping away a tear as I missed my own dad by the end. 

Go see this show. You'll be so glad that you did! 


3 comments:

  1. I adore "A Christmas Story" as a movie, and to see it on Broadway (someday, as musicals are a bit beyond my budget right now) has me torn: I think it would be cool, yet I don't want to end up being disappointed. I guess it's because there are dancing sequences in this that would not have been in the film...I don't know. But seeing this would be something I'd have to think about.

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    1. I hear you, Sabrina...but I have to say: one of my favorite movies and was not disappointed at all. Hopefully you can get there...one year~ ;-)

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  2. Agreed!! Fa Ra Ra Ra Ra Ra Ra Ra Ra!!!!

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