Marcus and I are pretty excited, we’ve been invited to see A Christmas Story the Musical tonight at the Rose Theater in Omaha.
In our house A Christmas Story is more than a classic, it’s back drop.
Ralphie’s mother, in the movie, reminds me so much of my aunt Debbie. I don’t know why, even, except perhaps that her son, Jeremy was such a great fan of the movie, I can’t help but think of him as well with each view. But that’s the movie, and not what we’re talking about today.
Today we’re talking about The Musical.
The Rose Theatre for Performing Arts for Children and Families has stepped up their game, particularly over the last few seasons, and has delighted us with new, ambitious productions like this one. The young actor to play Ralphie on our Omaha stage, Danny Denenberg, was actually among the call-backs for the lead role in the national tour. How lucky we are that this show is being put on independently here in Omaha, and lucky for him there won’t be that long bus trip. (The OWH reported Denenberg easily gets carsick.)
But what about bringing this iconic classic to the stage? Will it get lost in translation? My bets are no, the theatre is the way to go with this story. One is I’m also excited to hear our narrator, local radio personality Dave Wingert. The Rose’s artistic director, Mathew Gutshick, tells us that “This particular version of Jean Shepherd’s story is deeper and richer than one might imagine. Something subtle and beautiful happens when we actually see the narrator and understand how the story of this specific Christmas in 1940 changed his life forever. Dave is a true stand-out in this role, bringing something completely different to the stage than what he has played before.” (Insert squeal of delight from me. This description is making me soooo delighted to see the show!)
**Update 12/8 after seeing the show**
A few highlights:
What is that? An orchestra in the pit? Why yes, a small band of troubadours accompanied the actors, live upon the stage 🙂 Actually, this is the first time I recollect seeing live music accompaniment at The Rose which added depth and excitement to the overall production. The set of a small town Indiana house, school, town…fulfilled the both the cozy threshold and the movement functionalities facilitated action.
Marcus’ favorite number: Ralphie the Hero. Raphie’s collection of dream sequences are of course best illustrated via a musical number, am I right?! This was a super fun scene that spotlights the talent of the leading character – Danny as Ralphie.
My favorite number: The Leg Lamp Dance. Need I say more? No. But I will, which is that Konrad Case, Ralphie’s “Old Man,” delighted the audience with exuberance and expressions that cause pure fits of laughter.
Dave Wingert – OK, as I said, I was excited to hear he would play Jean Shephard and the narrator, but then I worried that my familiarity with his voice would be a distraction from the role. Back to plan A: More Delight! He absolutely nailed this role. Humor. Concern. Childhood dread. All wrapped in a perfect bow.
And the ensemble, including the kids. The kids! Hilarious. On Point. Dancing, singing, gag pulling, kids!
Omaha, The Rose is yet another showcase of talent and inspiration and we are one lucky town.
Omaha Friends! This show is playing all the way ‘til Dec 28th. Get Your Tickets. A Few More details here: $20-$25 reserved seats, Call (402) 345-4849 or purchase online at www.rosetheater.org Discount ticket vouchers and a Kid Cuisine special purchase offer are available at Hy-Vee. See Hy-Vee customer service for details. Reservations are required.