by Bri Kilroy
Now that December is here, who hasn’t looked forward to digging out their VHS, DVD or smuggled copy of A Christmas Story and watching the timeless classic that won appreciation across the generations? Whether you’re a longtime fan of the story or you’re hearing about it for the first time, Grand Rapids Civic Theatre’s (GRCT) production of A Christmas Story: The Musical will be adored by all.
The Broadway play is cast with talented West Michigan actors who bring the holiday movie to life, performing as the genuine and hysterically relatable characters that made the film soar in popularity. The story of 9-year-old Ralphie Parker’s (played by 8th-grader Alex Sullivan) wish of getting an official Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-Shot Range Air Riffle for Christmas has been performed as a straight play in the past. Broadway handpicked GRCT to premier the musical for the first time in West Michigan.
“If you know and love the film, you’ll know and love the play,” said Nancy Brozek, Director of Development at GRCT. “The music enhances everything we love about the show.”
Audiences don’t just follow dialogue as Ralphie fantasizes about the heroic opportunities owning a Red Ryder will present to him, but they also see the daydreams played out in the company of a new original song, “Ralphie Saves the Day.” Supporting characters reprise their role in the story line including the fishnet-sporting leg lamp, the cruel Santa slide, the tongue-seizing pole and the Bumpuses’ flock of hound dogs, leaving everyone satisfied knowing that iconic features are present (and questioning if there will be a set of actual hound dogs or if the destructive canines are portrayed by actors).
GRCT invites audiences to experience this debut in Grand Rapids’ historic and most popular community theatre, standing as a testament to the community’s talent and creativity.
“There’s a strong sense of family and pride,” said Brozek raving about the creative talent we have in West Michigan and crediting it to GRCT’s opportunity to produce and premier the musical.
A Christmas Story: The Musical runs through December 20, giving everyone plenty of showtimes to include it in their holiday happenings. Purchase tickets conveniently online at GRCT.org, at ticket box offices or by calling (616) 222-6650. Come on, I triple-dog dare you.
- What: A Christmas Story: The Musical
- When: Through December 20
- Where: Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, 30 N Division Ave.
- Tickets: $18-$35
- Why: Yule love it!
Bri Kilroy is a Grand Valley and AmeriCorps alumna who learned to type through vigorous Mavis Beacon trainings. She also passes as an artist, illustrator and author of this bio.