a christmas story on stage in cleveland

Yesterday we went to the Cleveland Playhouse’s production of “A Christmas Story”, the play based on the Jean Sheppard classic TV movie. We made it our holiday get-together with our friends Nancy, Jim, Debbie and Louis. After the matinee, we had dinner in Little Italy at Il Bacio, a contemporary Italian restaurant, and then desert back at Jim and Nancy’s house in Euclid.

Here’s my review of “A Christmas Story”. The play very much followed the screenplay of the TV movie, especially classic lines from the movie. The pace of the play was just a little too slow. The actors did an excellent job. Most notable was the narrator, who in the play moved through the scenes and occasionally assumed a character role. It is quite a job to have almost continuous lines through the play.

The sets were extremely well done with me being able to visualize the actual scenes from the movie. The Parker home was well executed on stage. Some notable scenes were the incident along the road when the father is replacing the spare tire and Ralphie utters the ultimate “F” word. The schoolroom scenes were also well done.

The scene that could have had impact but was lackluster was the Santa scene at Higbee’s. They had a great snow mountain complete with slide. Unfortunately, Santa was only a voice from inside the mountain. I would have liked to have seen him on stage.

The only missing scene was Christmas dinner in the Chinese restaurant. To me that is a classic scene. I love the Chinese waiters singing Deck the Halls. I think this was done to minimize the number of actors. There were only 11 actors in the production.

It was one of those enjoyable holiday plays. It was a good time. I t think they need to polish it up a little to make it more memorable. I would recommend attending though. Of course I like these nostalgia type plays.

One bonus was a tree festival that lined the playhouses corridors. There were some well done trees. You can see a few in the pics I have included with this post. The most dramatic one was the enormous tree that filled the playhouse’s rotunda. The most unique was the steel tree.

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