By Nolan P. Smith
(Victorville)—Creative Arts Theater performed a musical retelling of a pop culture classic of ‘A Christmas Story’ earlier this month and did so in grand fashion.
Directed by Cynthia Meade, the musical took us back to a simpler time, a time of family, friends, and a Red Ryder BB gun. Starring a cast ranging from kids to adults, the performance was nothing short of fantastic. Narrated by Dan Merket, the story unfolds as we meet the Parkers: Ralphie (Devon Lawry), the young man with dreams of a BB gun Christmas, his sister Randie (Grace Eldredge), his loving mother (Mary Whitlock), and the old man of the family (David Mancha).
We see the family going from the struggles we have seen for years on television: from Ralphie trying to find a way to not only get the gift of his dreams but to survive being bullied and the antics of his family. We see the mother being the glue of the family, being the supportive figure to her kids and husband. We see the Old Man and his ridiculous prize and his constant bickering with the dogs. The cast and crew did a fantastic job of bringing this story to life here in the High Desert. Everything looked, felt, and sounded like ‘A Christmas Story.’
The sets were well done, and the inclusion of the Santa trap door was a welcome surprise and brilliant use of such a classic stage. The music was all stellar, and the singing was on point. Not once did I feel a note was off or a performance felt out of place. From the kids, who were fantastic, to the adults, every voice made an impact on this show.
Lawry shined in his musical numbers, not showing any sense of nerves and leading the pack. Whitlock’s voice shines bright as well, as she and Mancha steal the show with their amazing vocal talents and inspired performances. Another stand out has to be Miss Shields, played by Amber Merchant-Johnson. The lively school teacher leads a musical and dance number that had the entire audience cheering.
I have seen the film “A Christmas Story” countless times throughout the years, yet I was captivated by CAT’s performance of it. They did a fantastic job of entertaining the audience throughout the show and delivered an overall amazing performance.
If you haven’t seen a show by Creative Arts Theater, I highly suggest you do it. Visit them online at http://www.creativeartstheater.com/.