I love musicals, I always have. I was the kid running around the house screaming and dancing to Grease and West Side Story. When a story includes song and dance, best believe I will be watching it. So a few years ago, when cultural favorites were performed on live TV with big stars I couldn’t get enough. I’m not sure what happened between now and then but they seemed to lose their magical quality. Grease Live was pretty bad. I didn’t like the liberties they took with the story and I wasn’t crazy about some of the castings. Rocky Horror Picture Show Live was much better but I feared it wasn’t enough to renew whatever was lacking from these productions.
So last night I decided to give A Christmas Story Live a chance. I knew I was going to as I am a sucker for that movie and the cast seemed cute. I enjoyed the production a lot more than I was expecting to. What made A Christmas Story so great to me was the dry quality to the humor. I loved that this kid had these existential thoughts running through his head. And we can all relate to wanting one toy more than anything in the world. Andy Walken, who plays Ralphie in the live version, was adorable. I didn’t get some of the aloofness that I think made Ralphie a memorable character but for this instance I don’t think it was necessary. He sang his little heart out and I was impressed with the songs and dances. All the kids in the cast performed marvelously. The tap dance sequence with Miss Shields (Jane Krakowski) and the kids was a particular favorite of mine and I adored the lamp dancers. I appreciated the diversity of the cast as well. Now, I am a huge Maya Rudolph fan. She’s beautiful, she’s funny but singing is not one of her strong suits. A few of her solos were a bit rough to say the least but it wasn’t an actual issue for me, just a bit cringe-y.
A Christmas Story Live served its purpose as a fun holiday experience. It doesn’t quite compete with it’s original counterpart but it was enjoyable nonetheless. If you missed last night’s live performance, you can check out A Christmas Story Live on fox.com.