A Christmas Story - The Musical -- Delightful Production of a Holiday Classic
By Karen Isaacs
The Bushnell in Hartford is getting us in the holiday season early with the outstanding touring production of A Christmas Story, a musical adaptation of the well-known Jean Shepherd story about Ralphie who wants a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas. The movie is a classic at this time of year.
Last year it wowed them on Broadway and earned a number of Tony nominations which is unusual for a holiday show.
I'm not a big fan of the story but I absolutely loved the musical. In fact, it managed to be sentimental and cynical at the same time and real captured that world of 10 and 11 year olds.
First of all Dan Lauria serves as Jean Shepherd narrating the story. He moves seamlessly in and out of the action commenting and occasionally helping out. He is the mature Ralphie looking back on that Christmas. Jake Lucas plays Ralphie -- and he captures the character perfectly. All the children in the cast never screech or overact. They seem like nice, normal kids.
John Bolton plays the father -- called the Old Man and he is terrific. His number "A Major Award" is a show stopper. Erin Dilly brings warmth and exasperation to the role of Mother.
Add to the cast, music and lyrics that actually make sense, are tuneful and can be heard and a flexible set by Walt Spangler and you have really special holiday show. I have the cast album and love it.
So if you have loved the movie you will definitely want to make it to the Bushenll by Nov. 17 to see this wonderful production.