It’s “Marathon Sunday” at Near West Theatre. Cast, crew and staff are together all afternoon and evening, preparing hard for A Christmas Story, the Musical, opening this Friday, Nov. 15. In a grand NWT tradition, tonight’s rehearsal dinner break is a potluck. Actors and their families chip in with casseroles or chicken, salad or soda pop, pizza or paper plates. If the pure joy of theater isn’t quite enough nourishment to get a person through 10 hours of stop-and-start scenes, imperfect set changes and technical tweaks, there’s always a pretty darned delicious break right in the middle of this one Sunday.
People line up, fill their plates, and spread out on the stage and risers, cross-legged or in chairs. They commiserate about sloppy entrances and stubborn set pieces, or just get their minds off it all for a few minutes, yakking about kid stuff, teen stuff and adult stuff — in short, reminding themselves, by sharing a meal, of the community they have become through two months of rehearsals. Soon the house won’t be their home anymore. They’ll migrate backstage, a community of mutual support onstage and off. After tonight it’s seven more in a row: rehearsals through Thursday, then performances through Sunday of opening weekend. What a great time to fuel up with a little companionship and a last cupcake. — Hans Holznagel
Supporters of this production of A Christmas Story, the Musical, include the City of Cleveland, Department of Community Development, and a presenting sponsor, Hinkley Lighting. Near West Theatre is grateful for ongoing programmatic support from the Ohio Arts Council, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares.
A Christmas Story, the Musical
Musical by Joseph Robinette, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul,
based upon A Christmas Story © 1983 Turner Entertainment Co., distributed by Warner Bros., written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, and on the book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd.
A Christmas Story, the Musical, is produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC., of Woodstock, Illinois. Produced with permission of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc.