“A Christmas Story: The Musical” Is a Fun Family Show
It’s Tuesday night. I’m tired, so going to see a musical that is going to remind me that it’s only a few short days until Christmas is not at the top of my to-do list. But, I have these tickets, and I don’t have to change clothes, so what the heck? I grab my husband, who is also ambivalent, and we head downtown to see “A Christmas Story: The Musical” at the Tulsa PAC. We’re both glad we did.
I’m sure that I don’t have to tell you the story. In the off-chance that you haven’t seen the film version, it’s the tale of 9-year-old Ralphie Parker who has his heart set on getting the Christmas gift of his dreams – a Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun. The story is told through an adult narrator looking back on this particular time in his childhood, which in the musical is set up with a clever prologue by the adult Ralphie, who turns up on stage throughout to narrate young Ralphie’s thoughts.
The kids in the performance are terrific. Children in the audience will have fun watching them — and one or all of them are on stage for nearly every scene. There are also two real, live Bloodhounds who bound across the stage from time to time.
The music is fun and the cast captures the humor and/or nostalgia in each piece. We especially loved “Ralphie to the Rescue,” which is a superb manifestation of a child’s flight of imagination, and the hysterical “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out.”
My husband and I left the theater feeling that we had been thoroughly entertained. Adults can enjoy the performance on two levels – the fun story of a kid who goes through major machinations to get the gift of his dreams, and the poignant story of the adult remembering a meaningful childhood event, not because of the gift, but because of what it reveals about his father. Moms and dads may also feel a little tug when Ralphie’s mother sings “Just Like That,” a song where the lyrics embody both the child and the adult understanding of “A Christmas Story.”
Children don’t have the life experience to understand “A Christmas Story” as a parent does, but they will love the singing, dancing, the sets and especially the children in the performance. It may be best for children around third grade and older because they will have to sit still through a three-hour performance with an intermission. “A Christmas Story: The Musical” embodies a child’s excitement leading up to Christmas – something most children can understand.
“A Christmas Story: The Musical” is in town through Sunday, Nov. 15. Take the family!