A Familiar Though Nonetheless Festive Showing

Photo by Keith Stewart A young Ralphie, played by 13-year-old Kyle Klein II, looks down at a pair of broken glasses, as his adult self, played by John McAvaney, looks on during the Little Theatre’s performance of “A Christmas Story.”

Photo by Keith Stewart
A young Ralphie, played by 13-year-old Kyle Klein II, looks down at a pair of broken glasses, as his adult self, played by John McAvaney, looks on during the Little Theatre’s performance of “A Christmas Story.”

LTOTS performs “A Christmas Story” through Dec. 22

By Dan Hagen
NP Theatre Critic

Given the demographic prominence of the baby boomers, it’s almost surprising that we don’t have more stories focusing on the joys peculiar to postwar, precocious-child Christmases.

But there are, at least, two, and they are now safely ensconced as holiday classics — Charlie Brown’s first animated special, and the play now on the boards at the Little Theatre — “A Christmas Story,” a faithful adaptation of the 1983 film.

I know, this Jean Shepherd material is really pre-baby boomer, dated by such references as the Little Orphan Annie radio serial that began in 1930, and the Red Ryder comic strip, which started in 1938. But I would argue that Shepherd, born in 1921, truly anticipated the baby boomer Christmas — the experience familiar to that increasingly affluent mid-century consumer-child who had been beguiled by advertising into obsession with some particular toy, in this case a “Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time.”     Login or Subscribe to read the rest of this story.

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