Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Night at the Theatre

My buddy Cheryl just posted about seeing her favorite Christmas movie, It's a Wonderful Life, at a fully restored theatre in Birmingham. I will confess right here, in front of everybody, that I have never watched that classic movie. I may rectify that missing portion of my Christmas experience this weekend. In the meantime I want to talk about my favorite movie, "A Christmas Story."

Since I first saw the movie, many years ago, on Thanksgiving weekend at my in-laws, I have been nearly obsessed. I bought it the first time I saw it on sale and our family began the Christmas tradition of watching it. From the opening scene and the sound of Jean Shepherd's voice to the very end where Mom and "the Old Man" are drinking wine on Christmas night, I am transported to a world I remember as a child.

We watched it with the girls every Christmas season when they were at home and waited impatiently for them to return from college so we could watch it once they were almost grown. Now they own their own copies and it has become a part of their tradition.

Having such an ingrained tradition of watching the movie, I was a little reluctant to purchase tickets to see it as a stage play. While I hemmed and hawed with Jim, my friends were hemming and hawing with their husbands. Finally, we decided to take the plunge and purchase tickets.

Tuesday evening was the night. We met at the theatre early and had coffee and {stale} cookies before the show. I remember saying to Rick, "How can it be the same without the narration of Jean Shepherd?" Rick, who grew up listening to Jean under the covers of his ice cold bedroom in Indiana, agreed that it might be a tough act to follow.

I had many questions. How would they do the narration, what about the changes of scenery from the kitchen of the house to the street? From the school room to the school yard? How about the trip to the Christmas Tree lot or to Higbee's department store?

Oh Pam of little faith!! The lights went down, the narrator walked on the stage and I was enthralled. I cannot say enough about the quality of this production. It was fantastic. The parts of the children were filled by local school children, who did an outstanding job.

The set was phenomenal, turning quietly from scene to scene. The narrator {adult Ralphie} was on the stage throughout the show, never missing a beat. Both Jim and I were astounded by the amount of memorization the part required.

Well, I guess by now, you know I enjoyed the show. If you ever have an opportunity to see this production, run, don't walk to the box office.

Let me close this upbeat post with a picture of my daughter and son-in-law's home, taken today, in the desert of Las Vegas.

~Hippo Hugs~

P.S. - Remember, "Don't shoot your eye out!"


Faye said...

Like Cheryl, It's a Wonderful Life is my all-time forever fav C-mas movie. Of course there are other C-mas movie I love too :) I love snuggling in with family or friends to watch movies this time of year.
Can you believe C-mas is a week away?
Brrr....there is a fab seat sale($199+4 nights hotel) to Vegas right now, but I would go to escape the snow, not to deal with it there!!

Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Pam,

We always loved, It's a Wonderful Life, and we also love A Christmas Story, especially since it was filmed in the Cleveland area, and to this day my daughter always says "Oh, I remember you always took us to Highbee's for Breakfast with Santa."

Sounds like you really enjoyed the play. It must have been quite a wonderful production.

Your daughters house in Vegas looks beautiful.

Our ice is finally almost gone, but it was still here earlier today, so Bingo was cancelled! Boo Hoo! But I am going out to a Christmas to do tomorrow.

Have a wonderful weekend. Christmas is almost here. Yikes!



Monogram Queen said...

Oh Pam, A Christmas Story is our favorite too!! My baby fell in love with it last year at Age 3 - I was so proud of her!

I'd see it in any form!

I have never saw "It's a wonderful life" either.......

aliceinparis said...

Give yourself a gift this Christmas and see It's a Wonderful Life, really one of the loveliest Christmas films around:))
Cheers, Shelagh

Leslie said...

I love love love "It's A Wonderful Life", it is my favorite Christmas movie. The message it sends is very special and will bring tears of joy to your eyes. Jimmy Stewart is fabulous along with Donna Reed-it's just a wonderful story-you'll have to watch it-might change your all time favorite Christmas movie from A Christmas Story-though I love that one too!
Isn't Christmas such a beautiful time to share with our families and loved ones-and to give to others! I'm filled with the joy of the season and the birth of Christ is the light of the world!

Midlife Mom said...

So glad you enjoyed the theater version! I would have been nervous too, it can go either way, they can sometimes really do a hatchet job so it's nice that this one was a delight!

Snow in Vegas?! I saw that on the news and couldn't believe it! We have some headed our way this weekend but we expect it this time of year. I HAVE to have snow on Christmas, it just makes it so much more festive!

Merry Christmas!! xoxo

Nancy said...

I saw on the news where Vegas received some snow. Bet your daughter was happy to see it! Their home looks so beautiful all decked out for the holidays!

We always watch every Christmas movie we can. When the kids were in college and would be om break over the holidays, we all loved it as we'd sit and watch nothing but movies. Tammy is coming tomorrow and we're watching movies while wrapping and baking!

Your night at the theater sounded great! I usually go see The Nutcracker but haven't been in a few years. We still watch "It's a Wonderful Life" every years, too. So many good OLD movies!!! I never cared for the one with the kid with that Red Flyer wagon...I think that's the one you went to see. Well, the kids got me that one year for a GAG still has the cellophane wrap on it! I should watch it sometime, I guess. I may like it!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

(((((( HUGS ))))))

Cheryl Wray said...

How FUN!!! Your night at the theatre sounds fabulous!!!!

(I'm with everyone must try out "It's a Wonderful Life." LOL)