Stepping Out

Ralphie reloaded


Joyce Goldschmid/Special to the Town Crier
The cast of Palo Alto Players’ “A Christmas Story, The Musical” includes, from left, Michael Rhone (as The Old Man), Gwyneth Price Panos (Mother), Joshua Parecki (Ralphie Parker) and Antonio Elias (Randy). The production runs through Nov. 24.

Palo Alto Players continues its season with “A Christmas Story, The Musical,” the 2013 Tony Award-nominated musical based on the popular 1983 film that follows a 9-year-old boy as he schemes his way toward the holiday gift of his dreams.

“Story” is set to run through Nov. 24 at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. Janie Scott directs.

Set in the 1940s in the fictional town of Hohman, Ind., the musical chronicles young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker’s desperate quest to ensure that his most perfect of gifts ends up under his tree – a Red Ryder BB gun. An infamous lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a maniacal department store Santa Claus and a triple-dog dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the distractions that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas wish.

“Story” features songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the team behind the Tony Award-winning musical “Dear Evan Hansen” and the Academy Award-winning film “La La Land.”

“Like tens of thousands of others, the film ‘A Christmas Story’ is a perennial holiday must-watch for my family and me,” Palo Alto Players artistic director Patrick Klein said. “The brilliant stage adaptation doesn’t just capture the magic and nostalgia of the film, it also enriches the story with a lively, melodic score by arguably the most gifted songwriting duo in contemporary musical theater, and our effervescent director Janie Scott is crafting a production that will no doubt get you and your family warmed up for the holiday season.”

Scott, who also serves as choreographer of “Story,” previously filled both roles for Palo Alto Players’ productions of “Rock of Ages,” “Peter Pan,” “Disney’s The Little Mermaid,” “Chicago” and “The Addams Family.” She has directed and choreographed more than 50 productions from New York to Los Angeles.

The 27-member cast includes Joshua Parecki (as Ralphie), Shawn Bender (Jean Shepherd), Gwyneth Price Panos (Mother), Michael Rhone (The Old Man), Antonio Elias (Randy), Misha Seeff (Schwartz) and Neal Sampson (Flick).

Performances are scheduled 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. A post-show talkback with the cast and director follows Thursday’s performance.

Tickets are $27-$57.

For tickets and more information, call 329-0891 or visit paplayers.org.

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