A Christmas Story, the Musical

Sonoma Arts Live, Sonoma
Runs through December 22, 2019

Tuolumne Bunter, Morgan Harrington, Joseph Atchley. Photo by Miller Oberlin. 

The theatrical theme this holiday season seems to be Fun with a capital F, with shows that chase away melancholy and anxiety in favor of warmth, charm, and laughter. A Christmas Story, the Musical presented by Sonoma Arts Live is no exception, delivering as much fun as it can muster, adding a dose of nostalgia and impossibly cute (and talented!) children.

Based on the 1983 film that became a Christmas favorite in the ‘90s, as well as the book by Jean “Shep” Shepherd that inspired it (In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash), the musical captures 1940’s Americana and the innocence of childhood wrapped up in a loving look at an imperfect family’s imperfect, but ultimately wonderful Christmas. The story centers on 9-year-old Ralphie (Tuolumne Bunter) and his obsession with the one Christmas gift he desires: a Red Ryder Carbine-Action BB gun. In“Ralphie to the Rescue,” his fantasies focus on rescuing damsels from evil criminals, garnering him hero status and hometown accolades.

Certain his parents won’t approve, Ralphie launches an arduous campaign to persuade The Old Man (Rick Love) and Mother (Morgan Harrington) that he deserves this awesome gift. Mom can only say, “Oh no, you’ll shoot your eye out,” the eternal refrain of all moms regarding BB guns; and Dad’s preoccupied with seeking his own fame in puzzle contests (“The Genius on Cleveland Street”). Ralphie enlists his little brother Randy (Joseph Atchley), his teacher Miss Shields (ScharyPearl Fugitt), numerous school chums and even Santa in his quest. …

To continue reading about this production, see the full review at Sonoma County Gazette:
A Christmas Story, the Musical