When the Ordway produces their own in-house productions they are big and beautiful. Their current offering, A Christmas Story, based on the classic 1983 movie, is downright Broadway caliber. It’s upbeat, uplifting, and unafraid of being unabashedly traditional and playful. Cast and designers capture the spirit and feel of the Indiana 1940s setting.
Director-choreographer James Rocco uses several local actors in major roles. Dieter Bierbrauer as the dad, Erin Schwab as the schoolteacher, and Gary Briggle as the narrator are zestful standouts. But most impressive of all is Jake Goodman who plays 12 year old protagonist Ralphie. He truly lives into how Ralphie sustains a dream throughout the play for a BB gun in spite of the fact that he is constantly reminded that he will get his eye shot out if he gets one. Yet, through it all, Ralphie persists as if it were his destiny.
It’s that good old musical message that you gotta stick to your dreams and one day they will surely come true. Now isn’t that the kind of optimism we need during the holidays as we head into the depths of winter? Indeed, A Christmas Story is a bona fide musical Christmas treat!
A Christma Story
Through Dec. 28
Ordway Center, 345 Washington St., St. Paul