Three for the holidays
A Christmas Story
Poor Ralphie. All he wants is a BB gun, and not just any BB gun. It has to be “an official Red Ryder BB Gun with realistic pump action, a compass in the stock, and this thing that tells time.” It’s the Holy Grail of Christmas gifts, and Ralphie yearns for it with a passion unsurpassed in the annals of Christmas lists.
Even if we’ve never wanted a 200-shot carbine-action range-model air rifle, we sure want Ralphie to have one. We agonize over Ralphie’s painful quest for the perfect gift. We wince every time an adult tells him, “You’ll shoot your eye out” and groan at every unsubtle hint he utters. Our reward is a perfect Christmas tale, seasoned with just the right blend of wariness and warmth.
The Foothill Theatre Company has reverently turned this irreverent 1983 movie classic into a live-theater treat. None of the dialogue or details has been tampered with. We still get the familiar “triple-dog dare,” the “Fragile” leg lamp, the “queen mother of dirty words,” the pink bunny suit and Little Orphan Annie’s secret decoder ring.
The sets and costumes evoke the same sentimental nostalgic feel of the movie, including imaginative scenes from Ralphie’s fantasy scenarios. The cast is wonderful, including a talented Phillip Vossler-Thompson as young Ralphie, Shaun Carroll as the homespun adult narrator, Gary Alan Wright as “the Old Man” and Karyn Casl as Ralphie’s ever-patient mother.