‘A Christmas Story’ musical takes stage at Wichita Theatre

Candace Taggart, Features Editor

The Wichita Theatre Performing Arts Centre is currently putting on “A Christmas Story the Musical” through Dec. 18.
Based on the classic festive movie, the play follows Ralphie Parker, a 9-year-old boy, and his mission to receive a Red Rider carbine action BB gun for Christmas.
The story is set in 1940s Indiana with a nuclear family of working dad, housewife, and two rowdy boys. However, each character puts their twist on what is considered normal.
Having watched this movie multiple times a year since I was younger than Ralphie even, there were high expectations of how the story could be elevated on stage through song and dance. I was not disappointed.
Starting from the narrator, who had nearly the exact same inflection and rhythm of speech of the film narrator, to the taunting from the treacherous bullies Scut Farkus and Grover Dill, the Wichita Theatre cast accurately portrayed each character from the movie.
I was worried that because of musical numbers and it being a live show that important scenes or favorite moments would have to be cut for time, but there were scarce details or even lines that weren’t word-for-word from the film. This not only made the play enjoyable for all fans of the movie, but for first-time viewers of the story to enjoy a play with plentiful detailed story elements, which not every musical has.
As for the musical elements, the play takes most of Ralphie’s multiple wildly imaginative day dreams and turns them into reality with witty lyrics and long dance numbers. This allowed for every cast member to be seen because the ensemble had several solo dance moments and dramatic costume changes to shift from one dream to another.
The technical elements of the play were incredible as well. The classic ‘40s house where the Parker family resides was a very detailed and moveable set with the constantly rumbling and smoking furnace door nearly front and center. The window where the infamous mesh-laced leg lamp was moveable so that it could be brought front and center for an elaborate dance number in its appreciation.
Overall, the musical was an outstanding adaptation of an incredible film and I recommend everyone to brighten their weekends by seeing this performance.