Our neighbors moved last summer. My children were very upset by the news, not because we were particularly close but because every December they put a leg lamp in their front window. The leg lamp, made famous in the iconic ‘80s movie A Christmas Story, symbolized victory for the little guy and also made us giggle every time we passed their house.
Civic theater has brought a spectacular rendition of A Christmas Story to its stage. From beginning to end, the audience was engaged, laughing and tapping their toes along to the music. The solos, ensembles and choreography blended well with the storyline. Each character was well played and so enjoyable to watch.
Ralphie (Alex Sullivan) gave such an impressive performance that although you know that he will eventually shoot his eye out, you still want him to get that Red Ryder Carbine-Action BB Gun. When he sings “Ralphie to the Rescue!” he imagines himself saving his teacher Miss Shields (Aimee Workman) from a villain, classmates from bank robbers, and his brother Randy (Ben Lowen) from a prisoner. His daydream is a compelling display of the many reasons he needs a Red Ryder BB Gun.
Once again David Duiven impresses on stage as the Old Man, Raphie’s father. His mutterings about the neighbor’s dogs and the famous tire changing scene brought big laughs from the audience. When the leg lamp arrives, the Old Man sings “A Major Award”, beaming with pride and finding the perfect front window display for his prize. The audience went wild when the Old Man and the cast broke into a leg lamp chorus line with the children holding little leg lamps.
At school Ralphie perfects his Christmas list essay, hoping that if he impresses Miss Shields, she will convince his parents that he should have the Red Ryder BB Gun. His essay seemed to do quite the opposite. Miss Shields transforms from sweet teacher to Broadway starlet, singing “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out”. The audience was dazzled as her big voice delivered the crushing news. The tap dance ensemble added extra drama to this already jazzy number.
A Christmas Story, The Musical combines love and humor, reminding us all of the moments that make the holidays special. This hilarious rendition of a Christmas classic plays on Civic Theater’s stage November 20 – December 20, 2015. Make sure to check out GRCT.ORG for tickets and more details.