A Christmas Story
Virginia Samford Theatre
You’ll hear “You’ll shoot your eye out” and see the bunny costume and the leg lamp on the stage of the Virginia Samford Theatre this holiday season.
The Broadway version of A Christmas Story is a musical, so the biggest difference between it and the movie is the addition of a live score—and dancing of course. Other than that, the production’s debut in Alabama will have “every classic moment that made you fall in love with the movie,” director Tawny Stephens says.
But the music brings those moments into new light, too. “It’s like taking your favorite moments and blowing them up,” Stephens explains. For example, in a 10-minute dance number, “Ralphie to the Rescue,” Ralphie imagines uses for his gun, helping rescue people in an old West saloon and save his teacher from guy trying to lay her on the tracks with dynamite.
“One my favorite theatre professors would say that the reason someone is going to break into song is because they can’t speak it any more, and they just have to sing it,” Stephens says. “That’s what this musical has done for this movie.”
The narrative kicks off with Ralphie’s very first song at Higbee’s window looking at toys when he sees the gun. “It’s that magical moment of seeing the thing you have been dreaming about,” Stephens says. “Everything on stage freezes, and it’s just him singing about this dream.”
There are also a few elements of the show that were pulled from the book the movie was based on but that didn’t make it into the film. For example, the narrator is on stage the whole time presenting the story like a radio show and playing side characters.
For Stephens, the classic moments new and old are about more than comedy. “It’s the heart of the movie that makes people love it,” she says. “It’s the magic and mystery of Christmas, family relationships, what it was like being a kid at Christmas, and having the one big dream of getting the one thing you wanted.”
Stephens encourages families to come out to see the production. The cast will feature a mix of adults and children. “Instead of watching it on a 24-hour loop you can come get a new experience,” she says. “For a goofy show that has cops and robbers and kids getting tongues stuck to flag poles, love and hope and are the heart of it all.”
Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World
Birmingham-Southern College Theatre
As told by Director & BSC Student Meryem Tunagur
The show is a calling for all girls to find and empower themselves as a group to own their inner emotional selves. Through the show and through spoken word and even through song and group dance, Eve Ensler (writer of The Vagina Monologues) gives ownership back to girls to help them find the struggles and hardships of being a girl and how all of that combines to make us powerful and emotional creatures.
Eve Ensler was at a high school in L.A. asking students how they felt about being a girl when one said “I love it. I am an emotional creature, and I love everything inside of me.” The production takes individual monologues and shows how we as women are stronger together, how one girl’s story is all of our stories, and how we have the power to change the way women and girls are treated around the world.
The Unique Angle
The show was originally done with a bunch of songs with an original score, but I have opted out of doing all but one. Spoken word has been the female art form historically, and I wanted to give it back, which hasn’t been done before. The play has only been produced six times, so it’s cool that we are getting to be part of that. Our seventh cast member is hearing impaired, and she will be signing while the other actors speak. Her physicality portrays so much emotion while the other actor is voicing it.
NOVEMBER PRODUCTION SCHEDULE