It’s Christmas time, and what better way for Encore Theatre to wrap up a banner year than with “A Christmas Story”? Ralphie and his dream of getting a Red Ryder BB Gun come alive as a phenomenal cast and crew go above and beyond with all of the quick-witted dialogue and numerous scenes and costume changes required in a show that moves from “reality” to Ralphie’s fantasies of saving lives and defending his family against ruthless marauders.
Director Ron Hesseling does a masterful job of fitting so much material into such a short time and with the constraints a theatrical production entails. The show has some Encore veterans as well as some new faces bringing the Jean Shepherd classic we all love (and know from 24-hour rotation every Christmas season) to the stage.
The show is good, clean, family fun (with two Ralphies for the price of one). While Ralphie’s father, “The Old Man,” might be known to work in profanity the way other artists work in oils or clay, all of his diatribes have been switched out with faux profanity for the sake of the play (though we cannot promise that his grievances against The Bumpus Hounds are not still hanging over Lake Michigan!)
From “Frajeelee” to “Fudge,” all of the references you love from the movie are in there and waiting for you to experience them live.
The show runs through Dec. 9. Friday and Saturday shows start at 8 p.m. and Sunday shows start at 2 p.m.