As Christmas approaches and we begin to reminisce, there will be scores of images and phrases instantly triggering various recollections and fond remembrances for many of us.
For every person it’s unique. But for many of us, there are few images or phrases that can encapsulate a story of childhood determination pitted against parental holiday concern better than one simple, five-word phrase.
You’ll shoot your eye out.
During the next two weeks, Sumter Little Theatre will be presenting its take on the American classic, Jean Shepherd’s A Christmas Story. Based both on the hit 1983 movie of the same name as well as the collected works of Shepard, this stage adaptation follows the story of Ralphie Parker, the cowboy-idolizing nine-year-old boy from northern Indiana and his quest for the ultimate gift, the elusive Red Ryder carbine action 200-shot Range Model air rifle.
“We all remember the excitement and anticipation about finding that special present, the one we really, really want, under the tree on Christmas morning,” said SLT executive director Eric Bultman. “The play summons up those memories for all of us.”
Along the way, Ralphie, his family and friends deal with bullies, class theme projects, trips to visit Santa Claus and his father’s questionable illuminating major award.
SLT’s version of the family-friendly production features Adam Reisenhauer as Ralphie – the determined adolescent, scheming as only a young man can in his quest for the childhood armaments.
Joining Ralphie on his holiday quest for the ultimate Christmas gift is a large cast of local performers, both young and old, including Charlotte Gallagher as Ralphie’s mother, Luke Hall as The Old Man, and Nathan Martin as the adorable kid brother Randy. Braden Bunch, who plays the adult version of Ralph, will guide both the audience and the players through the performance as the narrator of this American classic.
Performances of A Christmas Story will be on Dec. 1-4 and again from Dec. 8-11. Certain times for the Thursday through Saturday performances will be at 7:30 p.m., while Sunday matinees will begin at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students, senior citizens and military personnel. Reservations can be made either visiting the Sumter Little Theatre box office at 14 Mood Avenue between the hours of 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, calling SLT at (803) 775-2150, or visiting the SLT website, which can be done by following this link.