A Christmas Story –– The Musical was planned with families in mind is the start times. The Wednesday and Thursday shows start at 7:00 p.m. The Sunday shows start at 1:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. It seems like a small detail, but start times are important. An 8:00 p.m. start time is too late for most families, especially on a school night. With an earlier start time, the 2 hour and 10 minute show becomes much more manageable for families.
A Christmas Story — The Musical, rated PG, is based upon the beloved movie. Ralphie’s plotting to get his dream Christmas present is something every child can understand. While the tactics differ, the efforts remain the same. A child longing for a specific gift will do anything to get what he/she wants. It’s a universal theme whether you are the parent or the child.
The individual performances wrap up a fun, family outing. Michael Harp (Ralphie) never gives up, even when you think he might just be out of ideas. His supporting cast of children are delightful from the opening note to the closing song. They storm the stage with such energy and sparkle that it is hard to believe some of them are so young. When they take their turn as elves the audience roars. A special treat for us was seeing Matthew Uzarraga on stage again. We first saw him in Oliver at the Drury Lane Theatre. He commanded the audience’s attention then and he did so again in A Christmas Story — The Musical.
Danni Smith as Mother and Michael Accardo as the Old Man resonate as a couple you’d find living in your neighborhood today. They clearly love each other and their children, even if they don’t say the words. They work hard, dream big and live the best the can. Sure the house down your block has granite counters now, but not that much else has changed for Midwestern, middle class families.
While the actors received loud applause at every turn, the 17-member Paramount Orchestra seems to have a following of its own. The audience cheered as loudly for the orchestra as they did for the actors. It’s another sign that the Paramount Theatre has developed a strong community bond when the orchestra is so adored.
A Christmas Story — The Musical runs through January 3. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit http://paramountaurora.com/events/.
Shari writes about life with twins at Two Times the Fun. Image courtesy Liz Lauren for the Paramount Theatre.
Disclosure: I did attend the opening night media preview. My words and opinions are my own.
Category: Shari's Corner