What a wonderful day to be alive. On Dec. 17, FOX took it upon itself to air an awesome live rendition of the Christmas movie classic, A Christmas Story. Obviously, viewers tuned in all over the world to watch if Ralphie Parker was finally going to shoot his eye out. There are few things I love more than a good musical remake, and tweets about A Christmas Story Live! show the production evoked nostalgia and merriment like whoa. To be honest, that's a real triumph for any movie reboot, but especially a live show. (Please don't make me bring up Carrie Underwood's The Sound Of Music. We're all still healing.)
TBH, it sort of looks like FOX is low-key making musicals its "thing." If you guys remember, back in 2016 it brought the lightning with Grease: Live!, which starred my main girl Julianne Hough as Sandy and a newcomer named Aaron Tveit, who played Danny Zuko. It was (in so many words) way better than The Sound Of Music Live. Plus, FOX knows what it's doing when it comes to getting the right people involved. In fact, composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul stepped in to create A Christmas Story Live's music, which is a smart move when you look at their previous work on projects like the movie triumph La La Land and hit Broadway show, Dear Evan Hansen.
Plus, FOX stacked its cast. Comedic genius Maya Rudolph stepped in to play Ralphie's mom, and Jane Krakowski made an awesome Miss Shields. You might have also recognized Ken Jeong, from movies such as The Hangover, who stepped in to play a tree salesman and restaurant owner, and of course, Matthew Broderick was on the mic doing all the voiceover work as Adult Ralphie. Like in the original, Broderick narrates the entire plot and delivered us some serious 1983 vibes.
But right off the bat, some people were kind of unhappy.
Nostalgia goes both ways — while some people were thrilled, there were a lot of people who didn't know it was a musical. And they were not happy.
While it was easy to get distracted by our favorite comedic heroes, the awesome costumes, and familiar story, eyes were also paying close attention to newcomer Andy Walken. Walken played Ralphie almost as well as Peter Billingsley did 35 years ago. In fact, he was chosen for the coveted role during a nationwide casting search, beating out who knows how many hundreds of other kids to wear those glasses.
And pretty much everyone thought Walken was killing it.
Walken is a very chill 11 years old, and we suspect he has a long and happy career ahead of him.
Not everyone was as enthused about Matthew Broderick as older/narrator Ralphie, though.
A lot of people thought having a narrator IRL was kinda creepy.
But a classic piece of the movie that everyone was happy to see? The Leg Lamp.
Another standout that people were all about? The inclusion of the new Hanukkah song.
Mainly because Ana Gasteyer killed it.
But a classic moment that didn't go so well? The ol' tongue stuck to the pole.
As anyone who has been on stage knows, in a live performance things go wrong. And in this case, Flick's tongue came unstuck. And oh yeah, everyone noticed.
To be fair, it was a lot to ask.
But there was one classic moment that a lot of people were kind of glad didn't work out like it did in the movie.
Namely, the kiiiiinda racist Chinese restaurant Christmas "carol."
But overall? People were just in the holiday mood.
As you guys know, the story revolves around little Ralphie Parker and his Christmas wish for a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. Of course, Ralphie's world is filled out with hilarious and dynamic characters who are as relatable as they are entertaining. Fans were anxious and nervous about the live show, as there's so much to love about the original film. Plus, how could we trust it wasn't going to suck when we knew there was going to be songs added?
Luckily, this has been done once before. In 2012, a Broadway show called A Christmas Story: The Musical was created and praised to the tune of three Tony nominations. In it, fans first heard new song classics like "The Parker Family Singalong," "Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun," and "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out." In fact, FOX's show was a live-taped version of this production, which obviously pulled from the original scripted movie itself.
If the tweets are anything to go by, while there were weird moments, for the most part people were feeling it. More than anything, fans enjoyed an old-fashioned night, saddled up in front of their televisions (or laptops or streaming devices) to watch a boy get his tongue stuck to a pole and a leg lamp glow in a window. Thanks for the memories, FOX! And well done, everyone!
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