Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Christmas Story, The Musical

A Christmas Story, The Musical is making its Philadelphia premiere at the Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street.  Following two sold-out seasons on Broadway, this production will run through January 10th.on the WST mainstage. Jean Shepherd (Bill Van Horn) skillfully plays the role of narrator as he recounts a Christmas season “back in the day”.. Beginning his tale with “It could be anyone, anywhere…” it soon becomes the story of the Parker family and the weeks leading up to Christmas. There is a running gag with The Old Man (Christopher Sutton) seeking validation of his worth by entering crossword puzzle contests, oblivious to the help his wife provides. There is the building tension with Ralphie Parker (Craig Mulhern Jr., Liam Keenan) who only wants a Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun for Christmas but is foiled as one plan after another seems to fail in his effort to convince someone of its potential importance to his life. As is often the case in this theatre, several scenes are arranged behind each other due to the depth of stage. This allows quick scene changes. There are many, and thanks to set designer J Branson, all are charmingly done. Three different cars carry the Parkers or kids across the stage. Starlit skies effortlessly replace the inside of the Parker home. Many members of the star-studded ensemble are familiar faces to Walnut Street Theatre-goers - local  actors home for the holidays. Members of the children’s ensemble are students of The Theatre School at Walnut Street Theatre. Audience members are captivated by the tap routines, thanks to choreographer Linda Goodrich. The biggest surprise of the evening is watching Miss Shields (Ellie Mooney) break her character's stereotype in a fantasy sequence.  A Christmas Story, The Musical has something for everyone - laughter, suspense, song and dance and the holiday spirit. For more information or tickets, phone 215-574-3550, 800-892-2787, visit online at or ticketmaster.

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