This holiday season marks the 30th anniversary of the classic movie, “A Christmas Story.” The tale of Ralphie, his family and his coveted Red Ryder BB Gun have stayed in the hearts of many fans over the years through multiple viewings both on stage and screen.
With its enduring popularity, it’s hard to believe the film was originally panned by critics. Movie theaters across America continue to show the movie every December, and TBS airs the film for 24-hour periods leading up to Christmas day. Reviews are different for “A Christmas Story: The Musical,” which is currently touring the country for its third year to much fanfare. The production received three Tony Award nominations including Best Musical and Best Original Score, with the cast getting to perform three powerful numbers at a New York press preview this past October. The Broadway musical mirrors the movie, with Ralphie singing in excitement about the gun that will “shoot your eye out.”
That excitement is shared with adults and children alike. Many fans flock to Cleveland, Ohio each December to visit shooting locations like the family home. Visitors can re-enact movie scenes like ducking under the 1940s-style kitchen sink or trudging through the snow in Ralphie’s back yard. Even the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland is in on the fun – their Christmas decorations include leg lamps resting atop the slot machines.
Colin Wheeler, the 8-year-old actor playing Ralphie at Cleveland’s Near West Theater, believes Ralphie and he have a lot in common when it comes to dreaming. “We both have real big imaginations,” he says.
Be sure not to miss out on “A Christmas Story: The Musical,” as it makes its way back to Broadway on December 11th.