"A Christmas Story" is based on the popular 1983 film. Photo by Ken Jacques
The tale’s narrated onstage by a grownup – reliable local actor Steve Gunderson – but make no mistake: San Diego Musical Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Story” is kid-centric and kids-dominated. Chief among them is young John Perry (JP) Wishchuck, who stars as the bespectacled boy Ralphie, whose Christmas dream is to receive a Red Ryder BB Gun. If all this sounds familiar, it’s because “A Christmas Story” is an adaptation of the cult-fave 1983 film, the one that TBS marathons every year.
This 2012 musical, with a book by John Robinette and music/lyrics by the team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“Dear Evan Hansen”), is utterly warm-hearted and very faithful to the original film. SDMT’s production features lots of laughs (many from Jake Millgard as Ralphie’s beleaguered dad) and even more dancing, niftily choreographed by Jill Gorrie.
David L. Coddon is theater critic for San Diego CityBeat