CTSM Presents A Christmas Story: The Musical
By Molly Weeks Crumbley
Christmas is coming early to Calvert County…A Christmas Story, that is.
Following the success of their summer camp production of Newsies, Jr., Children’s Theatre of Southern Maryland has jumped into a busy autumn full of classes, workshops, and rehearsals for their upcoming winter show. The team’s full-length production of A Christmas Story: The Musical will run Nov. 18-20 at the Mary Harrison Center in Owings.
A Christmas Story, based on the classic holiday movie of the same name, follows Ralphie Parker, a boy growing up in 1940s Indiana whose dearest Christmas wish is to receive his very own “Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air gun.” Unfortunately for him, it seems that all of the adults in his life have conspired against his wishes. “You’ll shoot your eye out” becomes a cruel refrain in Ralphie’s life. While he sets out to convince his parents, his teacher, and even good old Saint Nick to let him have his coveted BB gun, the busy Christmas season sweeps the whole town up in a flurry of frigid weather, playground bullies, flat tires, and schoolmates stuck tongue-first to frozen playground flagpoles. What’s a kid to do?
“This movie has become such a classic staple for SO many of us. We knew that the chance to see Ralphie on stage would be something that people wouldn’t be able to resist,” shares CTSM director Aly Cross (whose own childhood Christmas wish was a Cabbage Patch Doll). “The music is catchy, the story is heartwarming and hilarious, and the cast and crew had an absolute BLAST putting it up on its feet.”
A Christmas Story is a lively romp populated by a strong ensemble cast of 43 kids aged 8 to 18. Though young, the cast has stepped up and put in hours of work to learn their lines, songs, and choreography. Even amid flu season, the show is coming together well and boasts lots of peppy showstoppers and plenty of humor. The ensemble actors have fun playing multiple roles as they populate the town, classroom, and Ralphie’s active fantasy life. At the center of all of the action are the four actors who portray the Parker family—Ralphie (Noah Gass) is an earnest performer with a pitch-perfect voice, Lukas Righter’s Old Man shimmies and kicks with the best of them, kid brother Randy (Cullen Davis) delivers well-timed comic relief, and Kayleigh Berkoski brings a grounded gentleness to Mother. “I could swim in her voice,” enthuses Cross.
Cross says, “This show is going to be the ideal way to kick off the holiday season. Not only is it great to have outings with the family, but to support local theater in southern Maryland is so important. After several years of being stifled from the pandemic, live theater is finally back and better than ever! We promise that this production won’t disappoint, and we truly hope everyone will join us in the fun.”
A Christmas Story: The Musical runs Friday, Nov. 18 at 7 pm; Saturday, Nov. 19 at 2 pm (with ASL interpretation) and 7 pm; and Sunday, Nov. 20 at 2 pm and 7 pm. Tickets and additional information at ctsmd.org.