BWW Reviews: A CHRISTMAS STORY at the Engeman

BWW Reviews: A CHRISTMAS STORY at the EngemanWhen you see a Christmas show at Northport’s John W. Engeman Theatre, you are in for a special treat. The busy street is bustling and the stunning Long Island venue goes all out with the decorations for a festive atmosphere. Their offering this season is fan favorite A Christmas Story, based on the 1983 movie, running through January 24th.

As we know, the tale, set in the 1940, centers on nine-year-old Ralphie Parker and his one desire for a Christmas present; a Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun. Joseph Robninette definitely wrote a heartwarming book. You will find this story is reminiscent of the days before the over commercialization of Christmas where you fixate on that one perfect Christmas present.

Richard T. Dolce directs the large cast who are truly outstanding. Superbly portraying Ralphie is Ethan Eisenbergmaking his Engeman debut. You will find the talented Ethan has a wonderful voice for the Benj Pasek/Justin Paulscore and keeps up with the best of them in the dance numbers choreographed by Antoinette DiPietropolo.

Amongst Ralphie’s family is his father – “The Old Man” as he is referred to – portrayed strongly by Steve Luker(Broadway: 42nd Street), Ralphie’s caring mother portrayed by Gina Milo (Broadway: Les Miserables), and younger brother Randy portrayed by Griffin Reese. Additionally, two sets of children are cast to make up Ralphie’s classmates. I had pleasure of seeing the captivating “Red” cast and I am certain to say that the alternate “Green” cast delivers the same spectacular performance.

Also a highlight is Jonathan Collins‘ fantastic – yet again! – set. Rolling pieces and smart arrangements abound with stunning props designed by Bryan Prywes. Driscoll Otto‘s lighting and Craig Kaufman’s creative sound touches splendidly enhance the stage and Tristan Raines‘ costumes are stunning. Now top that off with a brilliant live orchestra fantastically led by Musical Director Jonathon Lynch.

And so, A Christmas Story is certainly another hit for the Engeman. This is a show for the family or a great holiday date night. A great cast and a favorite movie come to life make for a thrilling night of theatre.

A Christmas Story is presented by the John W. Engeman Theatre of Northport, Long Island, through January 24th, 2015. Book by Joseph Robinette, Music & Lyrics by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, Directed by Richard T. Dolce, Scenic Design by Jonathan Collins, Costume Design by Tristan Raines, Lighting Design by Driscoll Otto, Sound Design by Craig Kaufman, Hair & Make-Up by Brandalyn Fulton, Casting by Wojcik/Seay Casting, Choreography by Antoinette DiPietropolo, Musical Direction by Jonathon Lynch, Stage Management by Naomi Anhorn. For more information and to purchase tickets please call 631-261-9720 or visit www.engemantheater.com.

Photo by Michael DeCristofaro. Ethan Eisenberg (bottom, left), Steve Luker (top, left), Gina Milo (top, right) and Griffin Reese (bottom, right).

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