I triple dog dare you to miss 'A Christmas Story' at the Victoria Theatre, but consider yourself warned. You'll laugh your butt off!
If seeing the live production of A Christmas Story at the Victoria Theatre is atop your holiday wish list, consider yourself warned that “You’ll laugh your butt off.” The show contains all the beloved scenes from the iconic movie, plus adds some new ones to help keep it fresh. The entire cast is superb and the set design is top of the line. If for some reason you weren’t a fan of A Christmas Story before, you will after seeing this production by The Human Race Theatre Company.
As the all-grown-up Ralph Parker, with still two eyes, Greg Mallios serves as the narrator and gives a five-star performance. He’s on stage for most of the show, moving fleetingly about, while setting the proper tone for a fun-filled time. In addition, Mallio also steps into a number of other bit parts, showing a collection of different voices, including a Jimmy Stewart impersonation. Yes, two holiday classics intersect as It’s A Wonderful Life crosses paths with A Christmas Story for a brief time.
The young Ralph (Ralphie) is played by Eric Pettit, who hits the bullseye every time while aiming for the characters most remembered moments. Whether anxiously describing the Red Ryder Carbine Action 200 Shot Range Model Air Rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time or uttering the ‘F-dash-dash-dash word,’ (Fudge) Pettit is beyond his years in talent. All of the kids in the cast are great, including Flick (Jason Caldwell) despite his sore arm and Jack Lockwood who is a twin of the Farkus from the movie.
With all due respect to the cast, the true star of the show is the lusciously, curvaceous (perhaps Italian?) leg lamp. It’s hard to compete with a major award. Somehow as the Old Man, Tim Lile manages to stand pretty tall next to the leg lamp, especially while uttering a litany of G-rated curse words caused from either the furnace or the Bumpus hounds. His frustrations are short-lived, due to the sweet smile from the nurturing Teri Clark Linden as the Mother.
A grade of A+ must also be given to Katie Pees for her portrayal of Miss Shields who makes a big impression with a small role. From resembling Shakespeare to a Wicked Witch (plus an angry Santa’s helper), Pees provides a number of standout moments.
Furthermore, credit is deserved for the scenic designer, Dick Block, whose rotating stage provides seamless transitions between scenes. There has been much hype about the upcoming live version of A Christmas Story on Fox with a star-studded cast, but it can’t possibly be any better than this production.
I triple dog dare you to miss, A Christmas Story at the Victoria Theatre this weekend. Remember though, “You’ll laugh your butt off.”
Mike Woody is a life long resident of Dayton, and has a passion for writing, which is good because he doesn't excel at much of anything else, except eating.