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‘A Christmas Story’: Nothing says ‘perfect gift’ like a Red Ryder BB gun

November 28, 2018

“A Christmas Story,” the play based on humorist Jean Shepherd’s memoir of growing up in the Midwest in the 1940s, is onstage at the Sherman Playhouse. The show opens Friday, Nov. 30, and runs through Saturday, Dec. 22.

This is the beloved tale of 9-year-old Ralphie Parker and his quest to find a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas. He’s not concerned he might shoot his eye out with the rifle (even when Santa himself says that’s what will happen).

Adapted by Philip Grecian and directed by Keli Solomon, the show features all the memorable moments from the 1983 movie, including how the family deals with a temperamental exploding furnace, as well as the arrival of an odd lamp. There’s also a bunch of bullies to be tamed and a schoolboy who sticks his wet tongue onto a cold lamppost. He discovers he can’t return to his class because his tongue is frozen to the pole.

According to an article in southernliving.com, Shepherd and director Bob Clark worked together nearly 12 years to create the movie this show is based upon. They first met after Clark happened to hear Shepherd’s stories on the radio and fell in love with them.

The article shared some interesting details that fans of “A Christmas Story” may not realize. Among them: Jack Nicholson was originally asked to portray Ralphie’s dad and was very interested, but the film’s modest budget wasn’t enough to support his salary. In addition, “The Wonder Years” (in which the narrator looks back at his life) was partly inspired by this movie.

Sherman Playhouse, 5 Route 39 North. Friday, Nov. 30 - Saturday, Dec. 22. Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 7 ,8, 9, 14 ,15, 16, 21, 22. Friday and Saturday 8 p.m; Sunday 2 p.m. $24 adults, $12 children under 12 and students. 860-354-3622, shermanplayers.org

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