“You’ll shoot your eye out!” Who doesn’t know the movie this line is from? “A Christmas Story” has become a holiday staple since it premiered in 1983. Thirty years later, its tale is being told again on stage in “A Christmas Story: The Musical” at Omaha’s Rose Theater.
The Broadway hit is being performed at the Rose with local talent. The 2-hour show runs weekends through Dec. 28th.
The production tells the story of Ralphie Parker (portrayed by Danny Denenberg) and his quest for the Red Ryder BB gun. His motive may be honest, but his attempts to persuade the adults to buy it get quashed at almost every step of the way. His requests for the Red Ryder gun always end with the same response from his mom, teacher and even the Higbees’ store Santa Claus: “You’ll shoot your eye out!”
The musical expands on the movie’s stories, adding song and dance to some of the key moments.
When Mr. Parker receives word that he has won a “major award,” his excitement heightens with the thought of his very own bowling alley. Instead, he opens the box labeled “Fragile,” the old man exclaims it must be from Italy, as he sounds out “FRA-Gee-Lee.” Of course, Mrs. Parker shoots him down saying it says fragile.
As he gazes upon his prize, a leg lamp with fishnet stocking and a lamp shade resembling a skirt with fringe, Mr. Parker displays it prominently in the house’s front window – for all to see.
Then, he breaks out in song – “A Major Award.” Konrad Case steals the show, in my view, as Mr. Parker. He dons a tuxedo jacket, then sings and dances with a chorus of cast members dressed in outfits resembling the lamp. Each dancer has their own leg lamp that they incorporate in dance moves.
Who can forget the hilarious scene where Ralphie helps his dad change a flat tire and he loses the lug nuts? He unleashes the queen cuss word. “FUUUUUUUUUDDDDDDGGGGGGEEEEE!” Only, he didn’t say “fudge.”
The “fudge” line is delivered spot on by Omaha radio personality Dave Wingert as the narrator. Wingert narrates on and off stage throughout the play, keeping in line with the movie’s narration.
More hilarity ensues throughout the show. Flick (Graham Waterstaat) sings while his tongue in stuck to the frozen flag pole on the school’s grounds. The result of the “Triple dog dare.”
As Ralphie works to stay on Santa’s “nice list,” while working toward his goal of getting the Red Ryder BB gun, his imagination takes him away and puts him in situations where a cowboy Ralphie would save his teacher, friends and family from would-be villains, all with his trusty Red Ryder.
Christmas morning arrives at the house on Cleveland Street. Ralphie and his little brother Randy (Jude Glaser) open their gifts. Ralphie receives the worst gift any boy could get ever – rabbit pajamas from an aunt. Of course, he has to try them on for mom (Angela Jensen-Fry).
In the end, will Ralphie’s wish come true? Will he receive the Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas? You’ll have to attend one of the shows to find out. Muuuuuwwaaahhhhaaahaaa (maniacal laugh).
“A Christmas Story: The Musical” takes the stage Fridays at 7, Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Dec. 28th. Tickets range from $20-25 and can be reserved at the Rose. Discount vouchers are available at HyVee stores. For ticket information, please call the Rose box office at 402-345-4849 or visit the website www.rosetheater.org.
Disclaimer: Thanks to the Rose Theater for the invitation to the media review event. All opinions and views are mine.