Posts Tagged ‘A Christmas Story’

A Break From The Chaos

So glad that I got to take in 2 SUPER shows last weekend amid all the hectic goings on otherwise.  As I pointed out in my last post, Nuncrackers was hilarious, kudos once agin to to Mare for going the extra mile by steppin out on stage to fill the role of Sister Amnesia as well as serving as director!  Yesterday, I was lucky enough to take in my other home away from home’s production of one of MY favorite holiday gems LIVE ON STAGE!  I know that I have mentioned my family’s extreme love of A Christmas Story.  Each year to get a viewing in, I have to stay up after mass and catch one of the showings during TBS’ 24-hour marathon while everyone else is all settled in for a long winter’s nap.  This year, Christmas Eve mass is even earlier so I should be able to catch the midnight show!

Seeing the show on stage ALMOST made up for that one viewing!  Things have been crazy around the house the last few weeks so I was not able (or did not take the time) to make reservations before all 6 performances were sold out.  This has not happened for a scheduled WCCT show since the 1978 production of Fiddler on the Roof! I know of at least one NON-scheduled show that was a sell out, but I won’t go there (something about a karaoke). In any case, my vocal coach who played Ralphie’s mother made arrangements for me to attend.  They had to turn 20 people away who had called the reservation line.

Almost everything from the movie was brought to wonderful life in front of our eyes.  The tire changing episode, the rattle trap furnace battles, Randy’s mummification with the arms that would not stay down, the “Fra-JEE-lay” leg lamp, the Bumpuses’ dogs (unseen but heard), the “triple dog dare,” and of course the “official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle! With a compass in the stock and a thing which tells time.”  My  only qualm was the absence of the original soundtrack as Ralphie and friends are being chased by the notorious Scut Farcas.  Everyone on stage perfectly captured the essence of the characters being portrayed from the adult Ralphie down to little Drew.  But I have to make note of the two brilliant actresses.  Tiff was her typical showstopping brilliant as Ms. Shields with her margin marking quill.  Seriously, anytime she is on stage the audience is in store for a treat!

I had never before seen Kathrine on stage; however, she was extraordinary!  Her total presence on stage was wondrous!  Her facial mannerisms, her voice, each little quirk and nuance MADE Mrs. Parker a delight to see.  Her chemistry with The Old Man was one of many highlights of the show!

Now here is a bit of some of my favorite scenes in the movie or the complete theatrical trailer which I have never before seen:

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Sold Out Two Months Ahead

WOW!  I learned at my weekly voice lesson that the local community theatre’s production of A Christmas Story already has two dates sold out!  Not sure if a show has had sold out dates two months ahead in this area, but this is the first I know of.  K will be playing the role of Ralphie’s mother and her little man will be playing a little boy… no lines but he is already being instructed to develop the character to give himself some business on stage.

Now that I am five months out from my weekend gig, I have begun to plow through my books to find new things (or old things that are worth digging out) to not let my list become a lesson in tedium.  I dug out a favorite that I have never before been able to get because of range… (guess which part gave me fits).  Two octave range from a low A-flat to a floating high A-flat.  Poor K was commenting from the keyboard on the 5 flat key to the 4 (or is it 5) sharp key.  I probable should also pick some unfamiliar pieces just to take me out of my comfort zone.  I also visited an old friend that will be a part of the evening.  I really do not want to add too much to the program but if it goes from 45 minutes to 120 minutes before February…  NAH!  No one wants to see me on stage THAT long  😉

The Plays The Thing

Our community theatre, in it’s infinite wisdom, has decided to limit the number of musicals to one per season.  I suppose that I can see the need for this.  A good, well-known musical is much more expensive to produce than a play.  However, it has been pointed out time and again that musicals are the bread and butter of most theatres and if the right musical is chosen and performed well, they generally bring in more money than most plays.  Most of the musicals I have either been involved with or heard about have done well (with one exception but the reasons for the financial loss were many).

The problem is… trying to find plays that will bring in audiences.  It has been suggested that we attempt to focus on seasonal shows.  In October, I cannot wait to be part of the all cast production of Little Shop of  Horrors.  In December, we are performing Miracle on 34th Street.  Both shows would appeal to the seasons.

For next season, we already have the musical locked in.  Taffetas is going to be done in October 2010.  I suggested doing another Christmas show like A Christmas Story (yes the movie has been turned into a stage play that I think would be a riot to perform).  There are also any number of versions of Dickens’ perennial favorite, A Christmas Carol.  I also mentioned via email a suggestion given to me for future October shows: Dracula.  Are there any other shows that would fit into other seasons?  A good romantic comedy for February.  Something like Honk! for future spring shows?

Or another possibility, our theatre has within it at least two people who have the fantastic knack of playwriting.  Many times, these are given spots entitled “independent projects.”  I think that if someone has a piece ready for performance it should be included as part of the season.

So, if any of my readers hiding in the shadows have any suggestions, please come out and suggest them.  I still think that it would not hurt to do Romeo and Juliet.  I know most people cringe at the idea of bringing Shakespeare to a small stage, but I say why not take a chance?

Some Christmas Flashing

Today was filled with fun, excitement, hilarity, and chaos.  In short, a traditional Christmas at my home.  It began, for me at about 9AM after getting to bed around 3AM after watching one of the showings of A Christmas Story that is shown every year marathon style over a 24 hour period.  I have to sneak a viewing in sometime (usually after I wind down from the majesty and beauty of our late night Christmas Eve mass.  I still cannot understand why no one else enjoys the recollections of young Ralphie as he longs for a prized bb gun one Christmas season.  You’ll poke your eye out!  I triple dog dare you!  Pink fuzzy bunny pajamas.  A Chinese version of Deck the Halls and Jingle Bells.  And “OH… FUDGE”

Later this morning, I awoke to a few presents under the tree.  Then we tuned into the Disney Christmas Parade followed by some of the Christmas Bondathon (got to watch From Russia with Love which is not a bad two hours spent any day) before everyone else arrived for dinner at 2.  After dinner and connecting the parent’s Blu-Ray player, the 5 older children and I (child or not, you decide) spent 4 hours playing UNO Flash and a new version of Yahtzee.  I think more time was spent trying to get SOMEONE to play the new UNO game without breaking the rules.  I kept telling him, “You need to push the SLAP button and not the player button.”  Hilarity ensued as each of us in turn attempted to take our turn in the time limit before being buzzed.  Fun for groups of 3-6 players.  Sometimes the old games with new twists can be hit or miss.  UNO Flash is definitely hit.

Finally at about 9PM, the dishes were cleaned, the table put back into storage, and children ready to go home to play with the treasures Santa had given them.  I think i will find a movie with lots of bangs and whistles to test on the Blu-Ray player to run it through its paces.