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A CHRISTMAS STORY- THE MUSICAL Opens at SCERA November 27

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The musical will run November 27- December 19.

Director DeLayne Bluth Dayton has wanted to direct "A Christmas Story: the Musical" for a long time, but the show was never available. The rights were consistently snagged by touring companies.

"Well, nobody is touring right now because of COVID," she explains, "and SCERA got a call indicating we could have it this year." To say she is excited may be an understatement, and as she exclaims, "There isn't a single scene or song that I do not adore. I wish I were in it!"

The musical, based on the beloved movie and story by the same name will be presented as holiday show at SCERA Center for the Arts, Nov. 27-Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Tickets must be purchased in advance, and seating is very limited due to reduced capacity and distanced seating. Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for children 3-11 and seniors 65 and older and can be purchased at www.scera.org, by calling 801-225-ARTS or in person at the main office at SCERA Center for the Arts, 745 South State, Orem. Masks are required at all times. Seats are sanitized daily. Every other row will be blocked off and there will be three seats between parties.

Although relatively new (1983) among such classic holiday favorites as "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Christmas Carol," the movie has become an annual tradition, and it runs around-the-clock on television every Christmas.

The story unfolds in the mid-1940s in a fictional Indiana town and follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker's dogged and humorous quest for a coveted Red Ryder Carbine Action Range Model Air Rifle. At every turn, he is cautioned, "You'll shoot your eye out," a catch phrase now recognized beyond the movie or musical.

All the iconic scenes from the movie are there: Ralphie's friend Flick getting his tongue stuck to the flagpole; his brother Randy getting dressed in his snowsuit; the bullies Farkus and Dill; the leg lamp award; the bunny suit; the Chinese restaurant; Christmas dinner and more.

Dayton particularly loves the musical version. "We are presented with a different side to the show in a way that only music can portray," she says. "We see a deeper level in characters, such as the mother, the Old Man, and even (Miss) Shields, the teacher. Besides, I love the score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (the composing team behind 'Dear Evan Hansen,' 'La La Land' and 'The Greatest Showman') as well at the original story by Jean Shepherd."

The musical is high on nostalgia and looks at the uniqueness of childhood from the perspective of a rag tag group of boys growing up in small town America. "We've carefully researched American life from 75 years ago, because it is clear this charming musical unfolds in a time much different than life today," Dayton adds.

Cast as the narrator (originally author Jean Shepherd) is Ed Eyestone. Other major roles are played by Scott Hendrickson as The Old Man (Mr. Parker) and Tara Kearl as the mother, Mrs. Parker. They play parents of the lead, Ralphie (Nolan Reinbold), and his brother Randy (Andrew Laudie). Also featured are Grant Shumway as Schwartz; Parker Burnham as Flick; Will Stancil as Scut Farkus, and Luca Folkman as Grover Dill. Allison Brooks, who is teacher (Miss) Shields, has a showstopper number that especially excites Dayton. "Allison is our powerhouse," she says.

Assisting Dayton with the production are Lindsay Folkman, choreographer; Rebecca Hornberger, stage manager; Deborah Bowman and Kelsey Seaver, costumer designers; Emma Belnap, lighting designer; Christy Norton, props designer; and Shawn M. Herrera, scenic designer. One fun element of the design is a working slide for the department store scene, which the cast has had a blast trying out during rehearsals.

"I think our audience will see a musical with toppers," says Adam J. Robertson, SCERA's President and CEO. "By that I mean, you'll see a number and think, 'Nothing can top this.' But then you will see another topper and another one. This show is really a gift of joy-and maybe you can't top that."


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