The Village Playhouse presents a holiday classic in every sense of the word. A Christmas Story, based on the classic American holiday film from 1983, stays true to the plot of the movie and the conventions of family theater to deliver a tight and touching evening.
There’s little to no point in recapping the plot; Jean Shepherd’s A Christmas Story ranks No. 1 in annual Christmas movie lists year after year. For the uninitiated (the six of you), the play is a recollection of the yearly holiday traditions of the Parker family, as lived by 9-year-old Ralphie Parker (played by Krosby Roza). Will little Ralphie get the coveted Red Ryder rifle he’s been dreaming of? You already know the answer, I’m sure.
Nothing too fancy or unexpected unfolds in the two-hour runtime, just quality entertainment. All the performances are spot-on and heartfelt. Thomas is inviting and charming, and recalls the emotions of childhood adroitly. Nat Jones as the Old Man Parker is absolutely hilarious. All the children are charming and perform well.
This is another triumph for the set design at Village Playhouse. Time and again Keely Enright and her team make magic happen in their theater, and A Christmas Story doesn’t disappoint. The Parker household makes up the bulk of the stage, with a classroom and the infamous department store coming from a small platform. I am consistently impressed each and every time I set foot in the VP space.
There are a few sound issues and the first act plods along at a less than stellar pace, but honestly, you won’t care about these small gripes. There are too many adorable children (Olivia Gould as Ester Jane, for one), and too many moments you’ll remember from the movie you adore. And, of course, the infamous leg lamp makes an appearance. Even when the play falls short of the marks set by the original film, it’s still an enjoyable classic for the whole family.