A Christmas Story Previews

Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
A Christmas Story Previews
Posted: 11/17/12 at 06:51am
If they wanted to make the show better, they should have just shot his eye out.
"I think Glee is way too sharp, smart, witty, clever and emotionally confronting for the masses." - Dave19 - "What's next? Snow Black and the 7 Swaggers? Shasquirta and the Beast? 101 Weavematians? Willis in Ghettoland?" - Dave19, in reference to the new ANNIE remake.
eperkins
Leading Actor
joined:5/21/07
A Christmas Story Previews
Posted: 11/17/12 at 08:29am
I have seen far, far worse productions than this. I enjoyed it. I even liked the kickline.
zerose
Understudy
joined:7/27/05
A Christmas Story Previews
Posted: 11/18/12 at 07:20am
The same guy, Walt Spangler, designed the sets for both Scandalous and A Christmas Story. Does everything he designs have to be framed in white??
eperkins
Leading Actor
joined:5/21/07
A Christmas Story Previews
Posted: 11/18/12 at 07:43am
In A Christmas Story, it's apt that it's framed in white, as it represents snow. Christmas. Snow. Get it?
homeimp
Leading Actor
joined:10/2/08
A Christmas Story Previews
Posted: 11/18/12 at 11:46am
I am so disappointed in the posters on these boards. All of these know-it-alls, many of whom have evidently not even seen the show, yet all so positive that their opinion is the correct one and the only one that counts. I neover knew there were so many intolerant people. This is a wonderful show with a tuneful and clever score, BUT I could be wrong.
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
A Christmas Story Previews
Posted: 11/18/12 at 11:49am
So the people who didn't like it are know-it-alls and wrong in their opinions and the people who did like it are correct in their opinions?
"I think Glee is way too sharp, smart, witty, clever and emotionally confronting for the masses." - Dave19 - "What's next? Snow Black and the 7 Swaggers? Shasquirta and the Beast? 101 Weavematians? Willis in Ghettoland?" - Dave19, in reference to the new ANNIE remake.
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
A Christmas Story Previews
Posted: 11/18/12 at 03:20pm
I am going to out on a limb here and offer my two cents on this production.

Jordan, I won't say that OPINIONS are wrong. By nature, they can not be, but I notice a few things here used to bolster 'less than kind' sentiments about the show that, to me, prove factually inaccurate.

I am not sure how people here assert that the stage version is lifted line by line from the film. Quite the contrary. I felt that the stage adaption manages to be very faithful in tone and in the style of dialogue used, but quite quite different (and more fulfilling for me). They managed to hit the iconic moments that people KNOW the film for as well, paired with the skill in matching tone, I see how it could be easy to say the script was lifted, but truly, it was not. The words were different, the plot refocused and fleshed out. I didn't mind losing the decoder ring and tree lot bits at all and I loved the insightful moments given to Mother and the Old Man and I thought the “Before the Old Man Gets Home” scene and song to be a great choice and added some layers to the individuals in the Parker family. I also greatly appreciated that it was not saccharine (like so much holiday fare) and overly sweet and the writing was truly FAMILY entertainment with a roster of jokes that had the adults screaming while going right over the kids' heads.

As far as the score goes, I have been humming the tunes for days. It is a wonderful score.. heavily revised if you only know the premiere cast recording. I feel it could be a contender come award season and rightful so. Pasek and Paul delivered a tuneful, classic style score that does it's job in spades.. I perked up immediately from the overture and it didn't let me go. I can't wait to see what else these boys crank out.

Across the board, the cast is strong. Erin Dilly fairs least well. Not entirely sure if it is the writing or her performance.. she seemed to be the least quarky of the people on stage. Johnny Rabe leads the pack with a bang up performance as Ralphie, John Bolton couldn't be more perfect as the musical comedy incarnation of The Old Man. Caroline O'Connor as Miss Shields is pitch perfect for me. Within the ensemble, you have a strong assembly of character people and dancers who almost all are given a moment in the spotlight and each shines.. Kirsten Wyatt in a variety of comedic roles, Eddie Korbich is a gas as creepy Santa, Andrew Cristi plays the waiter to the understated hilt and my jaw was slack on the floor watching 9 year old Luke Spring get into a tap dancing duel with O'Connor before breaking into an extended tap dance break (Improved, no less!) that absolutely stops the show cold (Give that kid a solo bow and the Astaire Award now).

As far as the physical production goes, I liked the design but had a few issues with execution / construction. To be fair, they tweaked quite a lot from last year's tour – including an all new Parker house, and the producers for the show don't have the deepest wallets on the Great White way. Hopefully they will tweak and rebuild more when the show continues to have life. The set, overall, looks great.. a few pieces here and there are a bit too flimsy and Walt Spangler continues to show that his weakest links as a designer are creating sets that are actor friendly, move well, and well masked from the wings. I felt the costumes to be spot-on as period clothing. I took issue when the chorus entered for “A Major Award” until it clicked my head that those costumes would be built that way in that period.

All in all, I found it to be a rousing, lighthearted, heartwarming and fun night out and it could not have been a better way to kickstart the holiday season for me / us. I am still hoping to make it back again this season and would eagerly expect – and hope – to see A Christmas Story back in New York next fall... hopefully in a different theatre (more wing space, please) and perhaps with the addition of a second company on the road or in a satellite city.
little_sally
Broadway Legend
joined:1/15/04
A Christmas Story Previews
Posted: 11/19/12 at 10:59am
I saw yesterday's matinee and overall, I found it enjoyable. The score has some fun numbers but every ballad sounded the same. I also kind of felt like the stakes were far lower than they are in the movie but I've never gotten the impression from the movie that Ralphie was conscious of every move he made because he wanted the gun. Also, I felt like the show worked better when they weren't singing (although I felt it was strange that they didn't write one new song for the Christmas scenes until the finale).

The cast were all uniformly good and I thought the kids were adorable but I thought the Old Man character was problematic. I don't know if the writing or John Bolton is to blame but in the film version, the character was intimidating whereas Bolton's take just made him kind of desperate and almost pathetic.

A little swash, a bit of buckle - you'll love it more than bread.
PlayItAgain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/8/11
A Christmas Story Previews
Posted: 12/17/12 at 12:38am
Saw the matinee today, I really enjoyed it, really just sweet and smile inducing. Its unfortunate though that due to recent events the whole show has an awkward undertone to it now, kind of hard to watch a little kid beg and plead for a gun for two and a half hours and Raphie To The Rescue one of the best numbers in the first act is now terribly cringe worthy (when the little kid screams "don't let me die ralphie" you could feel the air leave the theater).

Updated On: 12/17/12 at 12:38 AM
WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
A Christmas Story Previews
Posted: 12/17/12 at 02:12am
I saw this last weekend and just loved it. I thought it was wonderful and by far the best new Broadway musical so far this season, in my opinion. What a joy this show is, from start to finish!

I had an absolute ball and wish I could see it again before it closes. I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Do a lot of the songs sound the same? Sure. Are some of the jokes from the movie slavishly translated to the stage? Yeah. But the whole thing is just so joyful, giddy, goofy, and fun. And it's got a great, great cast, particularly the kids, who put the orphans over at ANNIE to shame. Special kudos to the always exceptional Erin Dilly, who brings much needed gravitas to the piece and delivers her two lovely songs with a touching honesty. Overall, I thought the show struck the perfect chord between adult humor and kid humor, as the film did. It's not a groundbreaking, earth-shattering piece of musical theater that absolutely must be seen, but I still thought it was wonderful. It's endlessly entertaining.
Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.

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