Last Wednesday, i was treated to a night of rip roarin old fashioned Christmas fun. I had the privilege of being in the opening night audience of the Chicago premiere of A Christmas Story – the musical at the historic Chicago theatre.
A Christmas Story is the modern holiday saga of Ralphie and his longing for the illusive Red Rider bb gun. He wants it so bad that he tells everyone of his desire. But most of the people he tells just answer “You’ll shoot your eye out,” including old Saint Nick. He envisions himself in the old West as he saves his friends and family. TBS airs a marathon of the movie annually on Christmas Eve. The young star of the movie , Peter Billinglsley, is now one of the producers of the musical that will be performed from now until December 30 at the Chicago Theatre.
A spirited cast and a young dynamo who played the young dreamer entertained the audience. One of my favorite musical numbers was “My Major Award” The star of the number was the famous lamp. Ralphie’s father bragged about this glorious lamp that had an ugly yellow shade and the base was shaped like a woman’s leg in heels. This song involved a hilarious kick line with the whole cast using copies of the lamp . The children had miniatures of the illusive prop. The teacher who was portrayed by Karen Mason stole the show as she dressed as the Wicked Witch of the West. She had an incredible belt voice and the best touch was the students dressed as the flying monkeys. The audience laughed as the Old Man( John Bolton) had fit after fit, especially when he encounters the Bumpus’ hounds. Clarke Hallum kept up the energy and endeared the opening night house with his portrayal of young Ralphie. Rachel Ray Jones was the perfect foil to Bolton’s blustery husband with her sweet melodic voice. Gene Weygandt’s Jean Shepherd told the tale eloquently with the help of Foley Artist Nick Gaswirth, transporting the audience back to the days when radio was king. Rounding out the cast was young Matthew Lewis who stole your heart as the baby brother , Randy.
So if you want some family fun and Christmas cheer. Come bring the brood to the Chicago Theatre for A Christmas Story the Musical. It will keep you laughing from beginning to end. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.thechicagotheatre.com or calling 1-800-745-3000.