The classic film A Christmas Story has become as beloved of a holiday movie as It’s A Wonderful Life.
With that in mind, the Academy of Children’s Theatre decided to present the stage version of A Christmas Story for the holiday season. It opens Dec. 5 in the ACT theater, 213 Wellsian Way, Richland.
“I love this show,” said director Julie Schroeder. “In our house, it wouldn’t be Christmas without watching the Christmas eve movie marathon of A Christmas Story.”
For those who haven’t seen the movie since its release 30 years ago, A Christmas Story follows 9-year-old Ralphie, who wants more than anything a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle for Christmas. Everyone around him, including Santa, admonishes his dream, telling him “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”
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But there’s so much more to this story than a kid dreaming of a toy gun for Christmas.
“The script of the stage play follows the movie very closely, so all the iconic parts are represented,” Schroeder said. “There’s Flick getting his tongue stuck on the frozen flag pole, and Ralphie getting his mouth washed out with Lifebuoy soap.”
The infamous scene involving the leg lamp Ralphie’s dad, referred to as the Old Man throughout the story, receives as a reward from his boss is also part of the stage show, she added.
“This is the only play I have ever directed a second time, the first being in 2001 at ACT,” Schroeder said. “My husband was really excited to be part of it, mostly because he wanted to build the leg lamp. We still own it, and it will be making an appearance in this show.”
Ralphie is played by Jantz Levin, with Clint Howell as the Old Man, Brooke Damrell as Ralphie’s mom, Asher Damrell as Ralphie’s brother Randy, and Foxx Walz as Flick. Other key characters are played by Bronson Dauenhauer, Zack Taylor, Chloe Bolz, Carly Tranbarger, Tammara Kangor, Caleb Brown, Matt Damell and Cameron Winslow.
Curtain time is 7 p.m. Dec. 5-6 and 12-13 with 2 p.m. matinees Dec. 6 and 13. Admission is $13 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and $7 for kids ages 12 and younger. Tickets also are available at www.academyofchildrenstheatre.org or by calling 509-943-6027.