A Christmas Story

Rated 4.0 Ralphie is a kid on a mission—a Christmas mission. All he wants on the big day is “an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle.” Ralphie is determined, but thwarted, every step of the way by clueless adults who warn: “You’ll shoot your eye out.”

In the meantime, Ralphie’s father, known as the Old Man, dreams of the perfect turkey dinner; Ralphie’s mother is armed with bars of Lifebuoy soap; his snow-suited brother Randy can’t get his arms down; and Ralphie’s best friend, Flick, is a victim of the triple-dog dare.

As fans of the best Christmas movie ever made know, The Christmas Story is that ideal holiday blend—sentimental without being maudlin, sweet without being saccharine, nostalgic without being melancholy. And now the Foothill Theatre Company has brought the movie to the stage in all its memorable glory.

The stage version follows the movie script word for word, scene by scene, absurdity by every blessed absurdity. No need to worry—every delicious moment is here. The Little Orphan Annie secret decoder ring, the “fra-gi-le” stocking leg lamp, the frozen tongue, the mother of all swear words, the “deranged Easter bunny” and the Chinese Christmas dinner.

But what adds particular charm to this stage version is the narrator (Timothy Orr as the adult Ralphie), who stands witness to the events instead of just providing the voiceover. The roles are expertly cast: Jordan Thomas-Rose as Ralphie, Laurie Keith as the ever-patient mother, Gary Ala Wright as the curse-master father, Blake Wilson as mother’s little piggie Randy, and all the support players.

The only disappointment is finding out Foothill Theatre isn’t repeating A Christmas Story next year. It’s a shame, really, because word of mouth could guarantee this a second-year success.

But, for all the diehard fans, this production is a perfect holiday treat.

The Foothill Theatre Company’s A Christmas Story plays at 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, with special Monday and Tuesday performances December 23, 24, 30 and 31; $17-$21. Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street, Nevada City, (530) 265-8587. Through December 31.