‘A Christmas Story’ at Chemainus Theatre a warm holiday hug

The Chemainus Theatre Festival’s holiday presentation A Christmas Story is infused with the warmth of family Christmases past.

The Chemainus Theatre Festival’s holiday presentation A Christmas Story is infused with the warmth of family Christmases past.

The story is set about 1940, but parts of your own favourite Christmases will wrap arms warmly around you as you enjoy a tale that has become a holiday classic.

Everything you want to see, or remember from the movie, is in this show.

Young Ralphie dreaming and scheming for an official Red Ryder carbine-action two-hundred-shot range model air rifle with a compass and a “thing that tells time” built right into the stock? Check.

The Old Man getting chased by dogs that never bother anyone else? Check.

Young Flick getting snookered into licking a frozen lamp post? Check.

All the kids terrorized by local bully, Scut Farkas? Check.

The Old Man fighting smoke-producing clinkers in the furnace? Check.

The unique lamp that arrived as “a major prize” after a contest win? Check.

Yep, pardner, it’s all there. And more. So much more.

That’s what makes A Christmas Story great family entertainment for your holiday season.

The story is told by Ralph Parker, now an older man, who looks back on the year he got the best Christmas present ever. But, it’s not simply a voice over. Ralph Sr. (played by Brian Linds) is on stage almost constantly, remembering, commenting, connecting the scenes as they take place in and around the family home in Hohman, Indiana.

Opening night’s full house was in a holiday mood, and they got what they came for.

The interaction among the family members is great in this show, especially between Mom (Sarah Carlé) and The Old Man (Stephen Sparks). Watch for a special Nutcracker duet between these two: your cheeks will hurt from laughing afterwards. Sparks, in particular, is just a standout throughout this entire production.

Brin Slydell is delightful as young Ralphie, especially in his dream sequences, when he uses his trusty Red Ryder air rifle, a.k.a. “Old Blue”, to rescue friends and family from absurd situations with both ferocity and aplomb.

Melissa Young as the school teacher Miss Shields, also makes the most of her opportunities to shine.

There is also some fine work by Ben Williams, who brings Scut Farkas, the bully, fully to life.

The other kids — Simon Minkow as Flick, Olivia Robinson as Esther Jane, Joshua Williams as Randy, Zebastien Borjeau as Schwartz, and Isabel McGregor as Helen Weathers, really add to the authenticity of the production, simply because they move, act and sound like kids.

Tickets to A Christmas Story should be on your shopping list right now but hurry because they are selling fast.

Call the Chemainus Theatre Festival box office at 1-877-565-7738 and reserve now.

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