|In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd (Large Print Edition).|
Originally published by Doubleday, 1966.
Current edition, Broadway Books,1991.
As promised, here's a little look at what the girls and I were up to the past month. Sunday, we wrapped up thirteen performances of Philip Grecian's play adaptation of A Christmas Story, based on the beloved holiday movie, with some extra bits from the original Jean Shepherd stories thrown in. I played The Mother (Mrs. Parker), Little Sis played Randy (Ralphie's little brother - yes, she was a boy), and Big Sis played Helen Weathers, the smartest, toughest girl in school. Ralphie's classmates get more to do in the play than in the movie, and there are actually two speaking parts for little girls.
Do I need to tell you what the play is about? Surely you've seen the movie. Here in the U.S., 24-hour marathons run on cable during Christmas. I first saw it on HBO at my babysitter's house as a kid.
This trailer is so terribly, terribly 1980s. That music!
Thirteen performances over three weekends. Honestly, that's a lot for adult actors, but for ten children - ! Our kids ranged in age from five (kindergarten) to thirteen, and they were such troopers.
Here are a few phone photos I took during the run. We made the local paper twice. The cake was a closing matinee gift from the actor who played Miss Shields. Here's Little Sis in the dressing room, with her hair styled with pomade. The overalls and shirt are her own. And there she is early in the rehearsal process, trying on the snowsuit for the first time.
You can see more pictures from our production on the Wichita Community Theatre Facebook page.
We haven't watched the movie yet this year, mostly because some of the lines for the play were different, and I was having trouble getting the movie out of my mind, even without a recent viewing! I am, of course, reading the book from which most of the movie adapted. Perhaps I should have grabbed this one instead, which only contains the stories used for the movie.
The grown-up cast and crew have been posting links to stories for each other on Facebook. I thought I'd share some here, if you're interested.
- First, a story from our local newspaper. Our play wasn't the only theatrical production based on the movie performed in Wichita this month. Music Theatre for Young People premiered the musical.
- Speaking of the musical, the Boston Globe did a story about a high school production that was attended by four of the now-grown actors from the movie.
- Here's a look at all the kids, then and now.
- The AV Club recently compared the book to the movie.
- Smithsonian Magazine just posted this story about the Little Orphan Annie radio show yesterday.
- Words & Film posted this story a couple years ago.
- Here's a link to A Christmas Story House in Cleveland, OH.
- While the movie was filmed in Cleveland and Toronto, the story takes place in Hohman, Indiana, a stand-in for Jean Shepherd's hometown on Hammond, Indiana. The Hammond High School class of 1959 has a great website with pictures of Hohman Avenue in Hammond through the years. Ralphie and Randy visit Santa at Goldblatt's Department Store in the book and play. Higbee's in Cleveland was used in the movie.
- Here's a fantastic Jean Shepherd tribute site.
- Test your A Christmas Story knowledge over at Buzzfeed.
"We plunged into the cornucopia quivering with desire and the ecstasy of unbridled avarice."
Haha! Or, here are some links to merchandise related to the movie.
- You, too, can own a legendary, official Red Ryder 200-shot carbine action range model air rifle with a compass and this thing which tells time built right into the stock. Or something like that.
- Or a leg lamp. I've seen these in so many windows this year, including one just across from our theatre! The one we used in the show got raffled off.
- Or maybe just a string of leg lamp lights.
- Maybe a mini leg lamp kit would do. Or a Triple Dog Dare mini kit.
- Or a leg lamp ugly Christmas sweater, or one of many styles of A Christmas Story sweaters.
- You could be a leg lamp, if you'd rather. Or a box marked "Fra-jee-lay."
- Naaaah. What you really need is your own bunny suit, made with love by Aunt Clara.
- I got ornaments for the adult cast and crew and our Ralphie. Target had leg lamps and Ralphies in bunny suits, which was great, because the Hallmark Keepsake ornaments were too expensive for me.
- Our director gifted everyone with one pint glass apiece.
- Oh gee, just search Amazon for more.
After we struck the set on Sunday, I took the girls for a drive out west of town, to a couple of neighborhoods known for spectacular light shows. While we were heading to one destination, we came upon a yard decked out in tribute to A Christmas Story! It was the perfect way to end the run of the play.
|See the big replica lamp and crate? Santa and the slide, and Flick stuck to the flagpole? And the house, complete with Ralphie in his bunny suit and a little leg lamp in the window|
I hope you enjoyed my little A Christmas Story post! On to more books soon.