“A Christmas Story: The Musical” is coming to the Koger Center for the Arts on Tuesday, Dec. 19, and Wednesday, Dec. 20, and it’s an oversized extravaganza of holiday fun.
Todd Rossi, vice president of events and marketing director of the Roberts Group, which produces Broadway in Columbia, says this is one of the biggest and most lavish available on the Broadway touring circuit.
“It travels with six trucks, probably one of the largest shows that we’ve had on the market for some time,” he says. ‘The Sound of Music,’ which lit up the Koger Center stage last month, only travels with four trucks, by comparison.
“A Christmas Story: The Musical” is closely based on the 1983 cult classic film directed by Bob Clark, which has quickly become a tradition in many homes during the holidays. Set in the 1940s, the story is based on the semi-autobiographical work of Jean Shepherd in his book of short stories, “In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash,” and subsequent radio broadcasts.
The story chronicles the perils of a little boy named Ralphie, who works hard to convince his parents, his teacher and Santa Claus that he should receive a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas.
You don’t have to worry about shooting your eye out to enjoy this over-the-top production. The live theatrical stage version was nominated for three Tony Awards in the 2012-2013 season and features music from Benji Pasek and Justin Paul, the Oscar-winning musical team behind “La La Land.”
“It’s in the upper echelon of touring Broadway product on the market in terms of big, lavish production quality,” Rossi said.
Nostalgic audience members can also count on all the staples, including the infamous fra-gee-lay leg lamp, pink bunny pajamas, maniacal department store Santa, freezing flagpole and – a real show-stopper – a couple of trouble-making (live) dogs known as the “Bumpus Hounds.”
Rossi said major cities competed fiercely for “A Christmas Story: The Musical,” particularly because it only travels for about seven weeks and is the series’ only holiday production this year.
“For us, it’s a big deal to be able to get the show, when you factor in all the other markets,” he said.
If you go
A Christmas Story: The Musical
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 19, and Wednesday, Dec. 20.
WHERE: Koger Center for the Arts, 1051 Greene St.
TICKETS: $49-69 at kogercenterforthearts.com.
WORTH NOTING: Season tickets for Broadway in Columbia are available through the Koger Center box office or by calling (803) 251-2222.