SOAP LAKE — Ralphie and his quest for the best Christmas present ever will come to the Masquers stage this month. “A Christmas Story: The Musical” opens Nov. 17 at the theater, 322 E. Main Ave.
The play will be presented every weekend between Nov. 17 and Dec. 17, with performances Nov. 25 and 26 (Thanksgiving weekend). The curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The musical, of course, is based on the 1983 film, which was relatively popular but not a big hit. It became a Christmas staple after it was shown on television.
“It’s a funny show,” said director Stacey Bresee. The plot follows the film, but it’s a musical, so some plot elements have been subtracted (although not the great Battle of the Lamp) and others added. “It’s music that nobody knows,” she said. “Which is good and bad.”
Bresee said she saw a Spokane production of the show and thought it would be fun and a good fit for Masquers. The musical debuted on Broadway in 2012.
The musical is still all about Ralphie (Cody Stutzman in the Masquers production), his mom (Holly Peterson) and Old Man (Justin Rowland) and little pest – um, little brother – Randy (Calvin Becker). Ralphie is seeking any and all means to get the one thing he wants for Christmas, a Red Ryder BB gun. With a compass in the stock.
But in the meantime Ralphie and his friends Schwartz (Carson Raybon) and Flick (Ryan Smith) must survive until Christmas, not an easy task with Scut Farkas (Masen Smith) and Grover Dill (Isaac Winter) around.
“The things we’ve all gone through, with family and friends, it’s all there,” Bresee said.
The movie, and thus the musical, are based on the stories of writer Jean Shepherd, who narrates the play. In the Masquers production the narrator is played by Evan Sperline.
The 30-person cast is split between 15 kids and 15 adults, which is a big cast for a small theater company. “We have good days and we have bad days, but we have that with the adults, too.” The company has a supply of volunteers to work with the kids and help build the sets. “A lot of helpers, a lot of hands-on.”
Tickets are $18 per person and can be purchased at the Masquers website, www.masquers.com.