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ACT takes musical twist on "A Christmas Story"

A musical take on a classic film is hitting the stage at the Mitchell Area Community Theatre this week. "A Christmas Story, The Musical," begins Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Pepsi-Cola Theatre. The show will run at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 2 and 3, and De...

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A musical take on a classic film is hitting the stage at the Mitchell Area Community Theatre this week.

"A Christmas Story, The Musical," begins Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Pepsi-Cola Theatre. The show will run at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 2 and 3, and Dec. 9 and 10, with 2 p.m. showings on Dec. 4 and 11.

And according to the musical's director James Van Oort, audiences can still expect the classic story they're used to, but with a slightly different take.

"Basically it's a lot of nostalgia wrapped up in a kind of a kids-version of the well-known 'A Christmas Story' movie that's out there in a musical form," Van Oort said.

The holiday tale revolves around Ralphie, who dreams of getting a Red Ryder BB-gun for Christmas. In the weeks prior to Christmas, Ralphie, along with his friends and family, get into different kinds of situations, including the famous bit where his tongue is stuck to a flag pole.

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The difference between the movie and the play is there will be a lot more songs and dancing, Van Oort said, along with a bit more fantasy.

Audiences will be able to see into Ralphie's daydreams and what's going on in his head while he's dreaming about the BB-gun. And the fantasy of other characters will be explored in the ACT's performance as well, Van Oort said.

Van Oort describes the ACT's production as a "kid-version," because of the high amounts of younger actors that were casted. Van Oort estimates approximately 20 children are involved and eight adults.

Because the musical is not as well known as the movie, Van Oort said a lot of people probably will not have heard of the music that will be played in the production - which features 18 different numbers.

"Be prepared to laugh, be prepared maybe to cry," Van Oort said. "And when you go home to the show, maybe giving some long lost family that you haven't talked to in a long time a phone call and reconnect. Because that's really what this show is about, connecting with our past, connecting with our family and realizing how precious family and events like Christmas really are."

Putting on a production during the holiday time can be a lot of work, Van Oort said, with everybody having other plans to work around.

And this year's production of "A Christmas Story, The Musical" wasn't necessarily a "smooth ride", Van Oort said, but he's confident audiences will enjoy the musical.

"The kids have really stuck with and persevered and doing a great job," Van Oort said. "The adults have involved and stepped up and led the charge in a major way which helps out tremendously."

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Tickets are $15 and $18 and may be purchased at the box office, by calling 996-9137 or at mitchellact.org.

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