CT-A offers three performances of ‘A Christmas Story’

By M. SCOTT MORRIS / NEMS Daily Journal

CORINTH – Fans will recognize the elements immediately: A Red Rider BB gun, soap poisoning, the leg lamp, a tongue frozen to a metal pole.
The movie version of “A Christmas Story” has become a holiday classic. Beginning Friday, Corinth Theatre-Arts will bring the story of young Ralphie and his Christmas quest to the stage.
“I think it’s about wishes and dreams,” said Lynda Whitfield, director. “Ralphie wants the BB gun, even though everybody tells him he’s going to shoot his eye out, but he keeps persisting.”
CT-A staged “A Christmas Story” several years ago, so the famous leg lamp that Ralphie’s Old Man wins has been in storage.
“We knew we were going to do it again,” Whitfield said.
Tonya Freeman played Mother in CT-A’s first production, and she’s reprising the role with a slightly different take this time.
“It’s a new cast, and I’ve had a son go away to college,” she said. “I appreciate childhood and motherhood in a different way now.”
Her friends have been asking her what scenes from the movie will be included. Randy, Ralphie’s brother, will shove his face into mashed potatoes. Ralphie’s friend, Flick, will get his tongue stuck to a frozen pole. And Ralphie will daydream about the unintended side effects of soap poisoning.
“It’s all the things that you’re very familiar with from the movie,” Freeman said.

Fantasies
Rosley Smith was chosen to channel Ralphie for the show, and the production is using his BB gun.
“My favorite scenes will probably have to be the soap poisoning and the Indiana Swamp scene,” he said. “I fantasize about all of these adventures with my Red Rider BB gun. All of my friends get trapped on an island and I have to save them.”
“A Christmas Story” is a kid’s story, but it’s told from an adult’s perspective. As the narrator, Dan Marsh will be Ralph, our young hero all grown up.
“I love the movie,” he said. “I’ve watched it ever since I was a kid.”
The play is a family affair for Marsh. This will be the first time he’s shared a stage with both of his children: Max, 8, is playing Randy, and Ava, 6, is one of the school children.
“We all have Christmas memories, so come see Ralphie’s,” Marsh said. “There will be things you recognize in your own memories. It’s not just Christmas, it’s all childhood memories, really.”
“What do you mean?” Max said.
“Well, you’ve got bullies and friends and candy and school, all of that stuff,” Marsh said.
“Oh, yeah,” Max said.

Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal.com.