Rosebud’s A Christmas Story good for the soul
By Laureen F. Guenther
A Christmas Story, a play by Philip Grecian and based on the classic 1983 movie, is playing at Rosebud Theatre until December 22.
Narrator Ralph Parker (played by Aaron Krogman) guides us through the re-enactment of his most memorable boyhood Christmas.
Ralphie (played by Rebbekah Ogden) is nine years old that year in the 1950s, growing up with his frugal mother (Glenda Warkentin), not-so-bright father (Nathan Schmidt), and disappearing little brother Randy (Silas Winters).
A BB gun is what Ralphie wants – and all he wants – for Christmas, though everyone, from his mother to his teacher to his classmates to Santa, warns him he’ll shoot his eye out.
Yet Ralphie hatches a plan to persuade his parents that a BB gun is the best possible gift a boy could receive.
He puts his plan into action, but everything else goes wrong. The furnace explodes. The neighbour’s dogs terrorize his dad. His teacher hands out a big writing assignment. His dad brags about an embarrassing prize. And then, in a fit of frustration, Ralphie dashes his own hopes.
All the cast members – with the exception of young Silas Winters – and several of the crew are either graduates or students of Rosebud School of the Arts (RSA). The play’s director, Paul F. Muir, is also RSA’s education director. Their performances make these characters ridiculous but relatable, and give us a laugh-a-minute, all the way through the show.
We laughed at the father who’s not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree. We laughed at the family’s problems with their furnace, which they consider perfectly normal. We laughed at the Peter and the Wolf music (with sound design by Paul Zacharias) that plays when the school bully comes out. And we laughed at the extremes to which Ralphie goes, to convince his parents to buy that gun.
Amidst regret and gratitude, grown-up Ralph concludes that Christmas is all about love.
It may be true that love is the best part of Christmas, but the best part of this show is the laughter.
It’s silly. It’s zany. It’s ridiculous, from beginning to end. And the best reason to see A Christmas Story is the opportunity to share that laughter for two full hours.
Whether you’re young or old or in-between, whether you’re hopeful or cynical or just plain tired, and even if you’re stressed or grumpy about the Christmas season, the laughter of A Christmas Story will do you good.
A Christmas Story is being performed in Rosebud’s Opera House until December 22. Get more information and tickets at 1-800-267-7553 or www.rosebudtheatre.com.