Friday, December 11, 2015

A Christmas Story: The Musical ☼ ☼ ☼ BAUB

You've still got a few days left to see the brief run of Benj Pasek, Justin Paul and Joseph Robinette's staged adaptation of the popular 1983 film "A Christmas Story." Now "A Christmas Story: The Musical," the show stars an ensemble of children, helped along by the usual holiday assortment of loving mom, dumb dad, drunk Santa Claus and evil schoolyard bully who gets his.

It appears we were the only people in the theater who did not know the original movie. It helps a great deal to know the film, for there were appreciative "ah-ha"s from the audience each time a new scene presented a familiar situation. The triple-dog-dare scene pictured above is one of those.

We loved Ralphie (played by Myles Moore on Opening Night), the boy who wanted nothing but a bb-gun for Christmas, despite all his elders' worries that he would shoot his eye out. For a young boy Moore has a marvelously assured voice. Parents Susannah Jones (Mom) and Christopher Swan (The Old Man) were appropriate 1940s midwest parents. Little brother Randy (Joshua Turchin) made us laugh with recognition as he tried to stand up in his winter clothing.

In fairness, we have to say that we could do without the Chinese restaurant scene at the end (Fa ra ra ra ra). It's hard to say whether the most offensive part was the scene itself or the raucous laughter of the theater audience.

The dance scene with Dad leading a bunch of Rockette-like dancers using lamps as extra legs was quite funny.

The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division awards "A Christmas Story: The Musical" Three Stars with an unfortunate Bauble of Despair for the final scene. Director John Rando and Choreographer Warren Carlyle are to be commended for getting that many kids to dance, sing and act in such a professional manner.

"A Christmas Story: The Musical"
The Orpheum Theatre
Market Street
through December 13

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