A CHRISTMAS STORY: THE MUSICAL COMES TO THE FOX
All the iconic scenes are there—the risqué leg lamp, the ridiculous pink bunny pajamas, the scary department store Santa, the triple-dog-dare at the freezing flagpole and even the next door bloodhounds making off with the turkey. But this time, Ralphie and cast sing and dance their way through what has become a favorite holiday classic.
“Not every translation of a movie to a musical is successful, but this is one of the best I’ve ever seen,” says Matt Lenz, director of the national tour of A Christmas Story: The Musical, since 2014. It comes to Atlanta for the first time November 29 through December 4.
“Ralphie’s fantasy sequences lend themselves beautifully to musicalization, and this production is so much in the spirit of the story,” adds Lenz. For example: The “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out” number features Ralphie and pals dressed in formal evening wear and and kicking up their heels in a speakeasy. “The dancing is not dumbed down, even though everyone is under 4’7” tall,” Lenz says.
What Lenz finds amazing about this production is that kids younger than 12 carry the show with their singing, dancing and acting. “I’ve never seen a show where an ensemble of young people gets to shine in such a spectacular way. These kids are cracker-jack, and their talent and enthusiasm keep it fresh.”
Lenz aims to deliver on the expectations of movie-viewers who revisit Ralphie’s predicament every Christmas, as well as tell the story to those in the audience who may not know it. “I think people are drawn to this story because there’s an innocence and wonderful nostalgia about it. I love that it’s about a family that isn’t perfect,” he says. “During the holidays, we all spend time with family and all our quirky relatives, and this play has a beautiful holiday message. It also has comedy, poignancy and charm.”
STORIES: Laura Raines
Photo: Gary Emord Netzley