‘Tis the season for “A Christmas Story”. The production had its local premiere this past weekend and will again be on the stage of Theatre Tallahassee this coming weekend.
This New Stage Theatreworks offering is directed by the Capital City’s own Naomi Rose-Mock. She noted it began life as a 1983 comedy movie before re-emerging as a Broadway Musical in 2012.
“I had actually never seen this film until I found I was going to do the show and I went and watched the film and enjoyed it. But I didn’t realize how much people love this movie,” she admitted.
And for those who also never saw the movie, here’s the plot essence: Christmas is approaching and 9 year-old Ralphie wants only one thing: a Red Ryder Range 200 Shot BB gun. When he mentions it at the dinner table, his mother's immediate reaction is that he'll shoot his eye out. Hilarity ensues and we don’t find out until the end if Ralphie ever gets the present of his dreams.
“We have to maintain what people expect with the integrity of the iconic film, while still making it its own thing because it’s a musical and it’s on stage,” Rose Mock insisted adding there’s lots of singing and dancing, not all of the dancing performed by actual human beings.
“There’s a tap-dancing leg lamp kick line,” she said, referencing one of the most memorable scenes from both the movie and the musical. “So we had a lot of leg pieces sitting at my house last month because we made the leg lamp ourselves – some of the cast members did – so it’s been fun!”
Also in keeping with the movie, Rose-Mock described the cast as extremely “kid-centric.”
“This is one of the first shows that I’ve done, which is driven entirely by children. The adults are certainly important, too; we have an adult ensemble and a kids’ ensemble, but our two boys, Randy and Ralphie, they are in almost every scene and they drive the scene. They aren’t just present; they drive the scene.”
Also, said Rose-Mock, it was critical that the visual elements create a strong connection to a happier, simpler past.
“Patrick Campbell’s done a great job with projection design, but one of the things we were trying to keep in mind with the projects was hearkening back to the Norman Rockwell feel, a very 1940s Norman Rockwell Americana. It’s definitely got a lot of the nostalgia that I think people are looking for at the moment.”
Rose-Mock says, even though the production is being staged at Theatre Tallahassee on Thomasville Road this weekend, Dec. 8-10, there’s a different source for online tickets because of the New Stage Theatreworks affiliation.
“The performances are at 8:00 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. and tickets are at: www.nstw.tix.com.”