Every good little girl and boy, and even the ones not so good, have a long and involved Christmas list for Santa. If your name is Ralph and you are nine years old, live in Indiana and are growing up in the 1940’s, you only have one item written in bright red on your wish list. Ralphie desires above all else one genuine, official, Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle, with a compass in the stock and a thing that tells time. What he does not want are a pair of pink bunny pajamas. You know he will get the pjs. But is there any chance he will also get the magical, mysterious air rifle he has set his little heart on? To discover the answer, you must go to one of the performances of “A Christmas Story,” a musical by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, based on the book by Joseph Robinette.
The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford will be entertaining Ralph and his gang from Friday, November 24 to Sunday, November 26 and you’re invited to share this classic tale of childhood desires. Forget old Ebenezer Scrooge and the mean-spirited Grinch. Let Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer nap the holiday away. Now is the time to concentrate all your efforts on encouraging Ralph in his quest. He wants that BB gun, but his mother is sure and positive, that he will shoot his eye out.
With grit and determination, this little son of a gun (catch the pun?) will do anything to get what he wants to find under the Christmas tree. In his plot to succeed, he will shamelessly involve his little brother, his school mates, his teacher, and even a mean old mall Santa Claus. He is not above scheming and finagling his way to the prize. The musical numbers, with a whole lot of tap dancing tunes, resonate. Come hear “It All Comes Down to Christmas,” “Ralph to the Rescue,” “Parker Family Singalong,” and “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out.”
Don’t bother to get Ralph an Erector Set or Legos, and certainly no socks. Watch out for that frozen flag pole so keep your tongue clearly in cheek. Remember what it was like way back when, when you had a must have gift on your Christmas list that made or broke your day. Now is the time to polish your lamps made from luscious legs of ladies, if you are lucky enough to have won one like Ralphie’s dad.
For tickets ($22.50-103.50), call the Bushnell, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford at 860-987-5900 or online at www.bushnell.org. Performances are Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m.and 6:30 p.m.