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Faquier Community Theatre A Christmas Story

By • Dec 1st, 2007 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Faquier Community Theatre’s A Christmas Story [MP3 6:36 3MB].

A Christmas Story
Faquier Community Theatre
Theater at Vint Hill, Warrenton, VA
$14/Adults, $12/Seniors and students
Performances through Sunday, Dec, 16th

Laura: This is the ShowBizRadio.net review of A Christmas Story performed by Faquier Community Theatre in Warrenton, Virginia. Mike and I saw the performance on opening night, Friday November 30, 2007.

Mike: This is the famous retelling of the famous Christmas movie, A Christmas Story. Yes, the one with the bb gun and the leg lamp and all those great scenes. I was really looking forward to this show and I was not disappointed. It wasn’t 100% the movie, there were some extra items thrown in. But it was a good show.

Laura: I think this is a great way to usher in the 2007 Christmas season. This was a fun show that was very family friendly and a lot of fun to watch.

Mike: A Christmas Story is based off of the motion picture A Christmas Story, written by Jean Shepherd, Lee Brown, and Bob Clark, which was based off the book, In God We Trust; All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd. The story revolves around Ralphie Parker who is trying to figure out how he can get a bb gun for Christmas. And not just any bb gun. It’s the official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and ‘this thing’ which tells time. We also get to learn about his Old Man, his mother, younger brother Randy, the school bully Scut Farkus, and Mrs. Shields the teacher. Lots of adventures abound. It’s just a fun nostalgic story.

Laura: The narrator for the show was the adult Ralph Parker, played by Blake Wood. I liked how he kind of kept everything together. He had good facial expressions when he was remembering the scary moments such as when he was talking to Santa and telling him what he wanted for Christmas. The rushed emotion on his face was really believable, yet he was also able to detach himself from things and tell the story.

Mike: He also came out a few times as other characters. Such as Red Rider himself, the delivery man who delivered a big box marked “Fragile,” or the tree seller who sold the family a Christmas tree. He was pretty flexible and onstage almost the entire show, which must have been tiring. He was doing a lot of walking around the stage and there were times when he was doing his lines in darkness. I don’t know if he was in the wrong spot or the light person had the wrong cue.

Laura: Young Ralphie was played by Brian Pierce. He was cute sporting the big glasses which was a major plot point in the second act. You could see the hopefulness on his face when he was laying his plans to obtain a bb gun from his parents for Christmas.

Mike: He pegged the character pretty well. He definitely had that feeling of Christmas build up and trying to manipulate the parents. I like some of the things he did to try to get the bb gun into their consciousness that were not part of the movie. That was cool and I’m not going to give it away because it was a surprise.

Laura: The mother was played by Andrea Kough. I liked her character. I could tell when she was dialoguing with the Old Man and he was blowing her off and telling she didn’t know what she was talking about, she looked pretty irked at him albeit behind his back. There was emotion there that I thought was really good.

Mike: The “Old Man” was played by Scott Pierce who was actually the old man of Brian Pierce, who played the young Ralphie. There was a big family connection in this movie. The other son, Randy, was played by Alan Pierce. In the crew there were some other Pierces. It turned into a family production and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s good to have family all working together.

The old man did a good job. There were lots of subtleties in the part and times when the ‘rasenfrassenfren’ that the old man would do in the movie, turned into actual words on stage. If you listened closely you could kind of hear the cuss words that were trying not to be said and were not said. It was kind of funny. I remember hearing an interview with Darren McGavin who played the old man in the movie version. The censors at the studio tried to slow down his words when he was swearing at the furnace. The censors were worried that he was saying really bad words. They would slow it down and then speed it up until they were convinced that he was not saying anything real. In the stage version they were real words that sounded like cuss words. It sounds funny, but it makes sense when you hear it on stage.

Laura: The set designers for A Christmas Story were Scott Pierce and Colin Pierce. It looked a little bit crowded. It had all the right 1940’s type of things like the rotary phone, the ancient looking refrigerator, the coffee pot. It definitely had a 1940’s look about it.

Mike: There were several fantasies though out the show that all took place in Ralphie’s mind. I liked how they were done. They were not done with special effects. The characters would come out in different costumes or different places than you were expecting. They stayed pretty true to what I remember of the movie. One thing I did not like at all was a scene in the opening of the play was Ralphie protecting his family by using his Red Rider bb gun to protect his family from Black Bart. Black Bart and the other bad guys crept down the aisles of the audience and tried to get up on stage. Ralph fought them off by shooting out into the audience. I really didn’t like having the gun pointed out into the audience. He would pull the trigger and there would be little air poofs. I don’t think you should ever aim a gun of any type out at the audience. It’s not a safe practice to get into.

Laura: A Christmas Story is playing through Sunday, December 16th. Friday and Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 2 at the Theatre at Vint Hill in Warrenton, Virginia. I do recommend you go see this show. This is a fun family friendly christmas story.

Mike: The show runs about two hours and twenty five minutes with one intermission. We’d also like to invite you to join our free mailing list so that you can stay informed with what’s happening in the DC area.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

Cast

  • Ralph: Blake Wood
  • Ralphie: Brian Pierce
  • Old Man: Brian Pierce
  • Mother: Andrea Kough
  • Randy: Alan Pierce
  • Flick: Colin Shea-Blymyer
  • Schwartz: Liam John Mulder
  • Miss Shields: Hannah Malinowski
  • Esther Jane: Brookie Miller
  • Helen: Haley Mulder
  • Scut Farkas: Erik Kough
  • Grover Dill: Joshua Vest
  • Elf: Katie Kough
  • Ensemble: Baylee Aldering
  • Ensemble: Dylan Pierce

Crew

  • Director: Kevin Sowers
  • Producer: Andrea Kough
  • Assistant Producer: Bryan Marsh
  • Stage Manager: Kati Kough
  • Set Design: Scott Pierce, Colin Pierce
  • Set Construction: Scott Pierce, Colin Pierce, Evan Pierce, Blake Wood, Andrea Kough
  • Set Painting: Kati Kough, Joey Scarpulla, Mason, Blake Wood
  • Set Dressing: Andrea Kough, Kati Kough, Joey Scarpulla, Blake Wood
  • Light Design: Colin Pierce
  • Light Technician: Colin Pierce
  • Sound Design: Bryan Marsh
  • Sound Technician: Evan Pierce
  • Special Effects: Scott Pierce, Glynn Cosker
  • Props: Andrea Kough, Alyssa Joy, Bryan Marsh, Charlene Wood, Lee Thompson, Kati Kough, Joey Scarpulla
  • Hair/Make-up Design: Cast
  • Stage Crew: Mason, Joey Scarpulla
  • Publicity: Dr. Robert Iadeluca
  • Poster Design: Blake Wood
  • Programs: Bryan Marsh
  • Billboard and Photography: Chris Moorehead
  • Board Liaison: Lee Thompson
  • Box Office: Dee Falcouner
  • Tickets: Debbie Carter
  • Opening Night Reception: Laurie Bersack

This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/2114.

started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

3 Responses »

  1. Thank you both for coming out to see our show opening night. It was a pleasure meeting you. : )

    Happy Holidays!

    Kevin Sowers

  2. I directed this show for PTP in 2004. I can’t get out to Faquier to see their production but am wondering if they had a full size Santa mountain and the Old man’s car as we did. (you can see this on our web site) I will say, it is a wonderful stage version. For the curious I suggest reading Jean Sheperd’s book and you will understand all the “extras” in the show. Break-A-Leg Faquier.

  3. The Theater at Vint Hill where Fauqier puts on their shows is much smaller than PTP’s theater. The Old Man’s car was imagined using two benches; and while they didn’t do a full mountain, they did have a slide coming off of the stage to the audience level.

    The book is available from Amazon: In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash