By Karen Isaacs
You only have this weekend to catch the touring production of A Christmas Story at the Bushnell in Hartford. A Christmas Story, a musical adaptation of the well-known Jean Shepherd story about Ralphie who wants a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas, was written by the duo who wrote La La Land and the Tony winning, Dear Evan Hansen.
I’m not a big fan of the story but I absolutely loved the musical. In fact, it managed to be sentimental and cynical at the same time and really captured that world of 10 and 11 year olds.
First of all Chris Carsten serves as Jean Shepherd narrating the story. He moves seamlessly in and out of the action commenting and occasionally helping out. He is the mature Ralphie looking back on that Christmas. Tristan Klapheake plays Ralphie — and he captures the character perfectly. All the children in the cast never screech or overact. They seem like nice, normal kids.
Paul Norbrega plays the father — called the Old Man and he is terrific. His number “A Major Award” is a show stopper. Sara Zoe Budnik bring warmth and exasperation to the role of Mother. Her number “What a Mother Does” is on its way to becoming a classic.
Add to the cast, music and lyrics that actually make sense, are tuneful and can be heard and a flexible set by Walt Spangler and you have really special holiday show. I have the cast album and love it.
So if you have loved the movie you will definitely want to make it to the Bushnell. For tickets visit The Bushnell.