Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Christmas Story

In just 9 days {GULP!} we will be at opening night for a family-wide weekend-long theater extravaganza! As I've mentioned before, all four of us are involved in the production of A Christmas Story. (Don't even pretend you don't know the movie on which it is based, featuring such gems as "You'll shoot your eye out!", "FUUUUUDDDGGGEEE!", and "the official Red Ryder 200-shot carbine action range model air rifle with a compass and this thing which tells time built right into the stock!"
Our Schwartz, Ralphie & Flick
Scott has the meatiest role, playing Ralph (the narrator). This seriously LONG play (I don't think they cut a single second from the film) involves him talking. The whole time. He had literally over an hour of dialogue to memorize. Given that he has just come off a great production of Grease with his high school kids, I have no clue how he's managed to nail all of his lines, let alone how he makes his performance so freaking awesome. I'm in awe of him... but don't tell! 

In addition to carrying a good deal of the show on his shoulders, Scott also recruited 6 or 8 of his high school theater kids to help out as "body men" for each child in the show. This means that all of the kids have one "adult" dedicated to them alone. Because the show moves very swiftly from vignette to vignette it is confusing even for the adults to keep track of where they are supposed to be going and what they are supposed to be talking about! We've only had these teens at one rehearsal so far  but it has made a HUGE, HONKIN' difference. Bravo, Scottio!

Elliott is playing Randy. That's the little brother of the main kid (Ralphie) who pretty much always has to "go wee wee" and is ever-hiding behind furniture and in cupboards. He is the perfect size and age for this role, but I will tell you, it's quite a challenge! He spends a LOOOONNNNGGG time on stage and I've pretty much given up trying to have him stay "in character" during that whole time. Thankfully "in character" basically means act like a little kid, so he nails it most of the time. The trickiest part is dispersed sporadically during those long times on stage, he has random lines that he's got to say. He knows every line very well, but the trouble is that he has a hard time paying attention to WHEN it's time to say them. So, I squat myself back stage and try to get his attention when his lines are getting close. As long as he's "present" when the time comes, he knows all of his cues. Thankfully, he's fairly universally viewed as adorable and the directors have assured  me that no matter what he does, he'll be a hit. Not to be too Mama Rose about it, but I really want him to get it right, since we've worked hard on this thing!
"Randy"  being hushed by big brother, "Ralphie".
Tommy is playing Michael, a classmate of Ralphie. He doesn't have any solo lines - just a few that he says in chorus with other kids. I was worried he would be sad that he didn't have a  bigger part but he has made it clear time and again that he is happy to not have a lot to memorize for this show. THANK GOODNESS!

In addition to being Elliott's "body man", I also have a tiny role on stage. I'm an Elf in the scene when they go visit Santa. The sole purpose of my role is to cue Elliott between the two lines he repeats over and over again through out that scene ("Santa, Santa!" and "I gotta go wee wee!").

There's still a LOT to get accomplished for this production to be a success. I could have been blogging for the last month and a half about the trials and tribulations we've faced. But, as another mom wrote on Facebook the other day, "I feel like the rubber tree plant moved just a little bit. I've got high hopes!"
Finally, you might enjoy the first-ever attempt by Elliott to "eat like a piggie" - which he'll need to do for the show. Glad we attempted it at home first! (Oh, and good thing he LOVES oatmeal!!) And in case it's hard to decipher, his quote as he's about to try it is "I'm kind of a little bit scared." Sheesh, I love him!

1 comment:

  1. I'm in awe that you are all doing this in the middle of this crazy two month holiday season! It will go just perfectly....even if it isn't "perfect"!