A Christmas Story: The Musical – A Review by John Strange

ACS Broshure Title
A Christmas Story: The Musical
Dallas Summer Musicals
John Strange
In 1983, MGM/UA Entertainment Company premiered A Christmas Story on the big screen.  People fell in love with Ralphie’s drive to receive the object of his desire for Christmas, a Red Ryder Range Shot 200 BB gun.  The Dallas Summer Musicals bring us the tour of A Christmas Story: The Musical direct from Broadway where it was nominated for three 2013 Tony Awards® including Best Musical.
The show opens with a man who will be our narrator throughout the show beginning his narration from a very imaginative setup reminiscent of a 1940’s radio story.  I love the “On Air” light!  Jean Shepherd (Chris Colton) walks through the story filling us in the background of each scene. 
Our hero, Ralphie (Colton Maurer), has only one desire, one Christmas goal, that BB gun.  With it he feels he can do amazing things.  But how can he convince his parents that he is old enough to handle the gun.  The common thread, no, the common threat, throughout the show is that he can’t handle the BB gun because he will shoot his eye out!
The show introduces us to his father, the “Old Man” (Christopher Swan), his Mother (Susannah Jones), and his little brother, Randy (Cal Alexander).  The family dynamic with this cast has a feel that is very true to the original movie even when you watch them break into song. 
I must say at this point that I loved the songs.  They give a depth to the story that the film didn’t have.  When Ralphie’s teacher, Miss Shields (Avital Asuleen), returns his paper on what he wanted for Christmas with a C+, the young man’s reaction incites a dance number with an awesome tap routine.  The tap routine brought to my mind a vision of the old musicals with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.  Ms. Asuleen as the teacher certainly seemed to be channeling Esther Williams and Ginger Rogers during her dance routine.  The kids who danced with her blew my mind with their ability to really bring it, especially the young man who does the solo during the number.
This story is so well known that I know I am not giving anything away when I say that seeing Ralphie get the object of his desires, his beloved Red Ryder Range Shot 200 BB gun, is great!  Even when he nearly shoots his eye out!
The bottom line on this story is that you have the well-known story of Ralphie enhanced with song and dance numbers giving us a wonderful 2 hours and 20 minutes of entertainment.  It is a story that is family friendly and full of warmth, well worth the price of your ticket.  This, the first show of the 75th season of the Dallas Summer Musicals, is a must see.
Directed by: Matt Lenz
Starring: Chris Carsten, Colton Maurer, Susannah Jones, Cal Alexander, Christopher Swan, Avital Asuleen
Dallas Show Dates and Times:
    December 2nd – 13th
               Tues-Sun (December 2-7)
               Tues-Sat (December (9-13)
         1:30pm Matinees:
               Sat-Sun (December 6 & 7)
               Thurs (December 11)
               Sat-Sun (December 13 & 14)
Run Time: 2 hours 20 minutes, 1 Intermission (15 min.)
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