Only in America could a boy’s desire for a harmful weapon be turned into a charming musical. But it has, and good thing. This production adds a great deal to the story we’ve all seen a gajillion times on TBS.
Ralphie (Clarke Hallum) wants (all together now) an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle, but has to circumvent his parents (solid troupers John Bolton and Rachel Bay Jones) and teacher (cabaret legend Karen Mason), who are certain that he’ll “shoot his eye out.” It’s the epic holiday struggle.
The show is slavishly devoted to the movie with numbers added to flesh out the score; it’s tune heavy but director John Rando keeps things moving. The kids are the stars, as it should be; Hallum handles his duties like a pro. Grab the kids, show them the beautiful Chicago Theatre and listen to some fun tunes about Christmas past. (Lisa Buscani)
At the Chicago Theatre, 175 North State, (800)745-3000, through December 30.