“A Christmas Story: The Musical,” based on a beloved holiday film, is making its debut at the Fox Theatre later this month.
The musical, which premiered on Broadway in 2012, will take the stage at the Fox Nov. 29-Dec. 4. Atlanta is one of eight stops for the national tour.
The infamous leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas and triple-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are some of the iconic moments that will come to life on stage in this musical warmly received by audiences and critics.
At the time of its release in 1983, “A Christmas Story” was considered a sleeper that attracted a small but cultish following. But over time, the quirky but also sweet holiday movie has become a perennial holiday classic, a Christmas movie staple. Several years ago, TBS started running a 24-hour marathon airing of “A Christmas Story” on Christmas Eve through Christmas Day.
The movie, which takes place in Indiana circa 1940, chronicles a young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker as he schemes his way toward the holiday gift of his dreams — an official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. (Santa’s thoughts on the gift of choice, along with others as many will remember: “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”)
Matt Lenz, director of the show, said he first saw the movie during his first year in college. He didn’t see the movie in a theater but one of the first times it aired on TV.
“It is my kind of Christmas movie,” Lenz said. “It’s sweet and it’s funny, and it’s sentimental without being too saccharine. And it’s quirky and reflective of families. I think a lot of the holiday stuff, people tend to sugarcoat the normalcy of families, and I thought, you know, this actually seems familiar.”
“A Christmas Story: The Musical” premiered on Broadway four years ago and was considered a critical and commercial success, garnering rave reviews for widening the story and adding a layer of entertainment to the classic movie. The musical filled with delightful songs and splashy production numbers was nominated for three Tony Awards, including best new musical, best original score, and best book of a musical.
“When you are translating (a movie), there are moments when someone has to sing about something,” Lenz said. “And the fantasy moments when Ralphie sort of goes off and imagines himself in this situation or that situation are perfect for large-scale production numbers. … So we have this fantastic number in the first act called ‘Ralphie to the Rescue.’ It’s really smart and also the way it starts and comes around and bookends (the show), and beautifully choreographed I love.”
There are also some tender moments in the show, particularly when the mother sings to Ralphie in the second act.
“Makes me choke up every time I hear it,” he said.
“A Christmas Story: The Musical”
Nov. 29-Dec. 4. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. $33.50-$93.50 (additional fees apply). Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 1-855-285-8499, www.foxtheatre.org.
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