“A Christmas Story” brings laughter, holiday fun to Peoria dinner theater

Andy Myers (Jean Shepherd and Narrator) and Tristan Klaphake (Ralphie) star in “A Christmas Story: The Musical.” Photo courtesy of Arizona Broadway Theatre.

Nine-year-old Ralphie Parker knows exactly what he wants: an official Red Ryder range model carbine-action BB gun. Will he get it for Christmas?

Not unless he can convince everyone he won’t shoot his eye out! The zany holiday tale “A Christmas Story: The Musical” is onstage at Peoria’s Arizona Broadway Theatre through Wednesday, Dec. 28.

The show is based on the 1983 Warner Bros. film “A Christmas Story,” which was in turn based on the Jean Shepherd book “In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash.” The musical opened on Broadway in 2012. Written by Joseph Robinette, it features the heartfelt, funny songs of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who wrote the lyrics to the upcoming musical film “La La Land,” starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

In the Peoria production, the role of the eternally hopeful Ralphie is shared between two ABT veterans: Easton Dana and Tristan Klaphake, who also shared the role of Tiny Tim in the 2015 ABT production of “A Christmas Carol: The Musical.”

Caelan Koth gets his tongue stuck on the flagpole in "A Christmas Story" at Arizona Broadway Theater.
Caelan Koth (Flick) gets his tongue stuck on the flagpole in “A Christmas Story.” Photo courtesy of Arizona Broadway Theater.

Easton is the son of Joe Dana, Channel 12 anchor, and grandson of Kent Dana, a legendary Valley newsman. Tristan is the son of Kiel and Cass Klaphake, two of ABT’s founders, as is Kieran Klaphake, one of the actors playing Scut Farkus.

Also returning to ABT is theater veteran Andy Meyers as Jean Shepherd/Narrator and Carolyn. Meyers played the role of Dick in the Off-Broadway 35th-anniversary revival of “Dames at Sea” and has been part of national tours of “Bus Stop” and “Annie.”

Filled with quirky, lovable characters, this nostalgic Christmas musical is definitely a show to be enjoyed by all ages.

If you go: Nov. 25-Dec. 28. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 2 p.m. Thursdays (select dates), 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. After Dark Cabaret at 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16. Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria. Prices vary, but typically range from $35-$95 for dinner and show. (There is separate pricing for ages 13 and under, 14-17 and adults.) Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. 623-776- 8400 or azbroadway.org.

Arizona Broadway Theatre offers show-only tickets or tickets that include lunch or dinner. Dinner service starts two hours before the show, and dessert is served at intermission and cleared before the second act begins. Each show features a new dinner menu. The dinner/show tickets ($20 of which is for the meal) include a starter course and choice of an entrée. Appetizers, beverages, upgraded entrées and desserts are available for an extra charge. New this year, those with show-only tickets will be required to purchase two items per person, such as a beverage and dessert. Orders are taken when the patron arrives — not during the show.