by Stephen Dafoe
A Christmas Story, Morinville Community High School’s theatrical show for 2019, opened Thursday with a matinee show in the afternoon and opening night Thursday evening. The show runs Friday and Saturday evening with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and the roughly two-hour show starting at 7 p.m.
MCHS teacher Vanessa King told Morinville News in an interview leading up to the show’s release that the motivation for selecting the play was that the usual dates at the beginning of December were not available this year, prompting the run closer to Christmas.
“We had to go to the end of December, and it seemed only natural that if we have to go Dec. 19, 20, and 21, we should do a show that celebrates the season,” King said.
The show is a departure from the norm for MCHS in that it is much more an ensemble piece than some of the previous shows, making it a little tougher to organize the cast of 30 people. King ran auditions the second week of September this year, and the cast and crew have been working on the show ever since.
The show is a Broadway take on the 1983 Bob Clark comedy. Music is by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the same duo that created the Greatest Showman, the new Alladin, La La Land, and Dear Evan Hansen.
Thursday’s matinee showed MCHS has another hit on its hand and will likely find themselves nominated for multiple Cappies again this year.
Morgan Christopherson (above) plays Ralphie in the show. She has been in James and the Giant Peach and The Sound of Music, but A Christmas Story is her first time taking on a lead role.
Maria Chvojka (above left), who won female vocalist at the Cappies last year, has two significant solos in the show in her role as the mother, and Evan Charrois (above right) plays Frank, the “old man” in the script.
While the acting and singing are impressive, so too is the two-story house on a motorized platform that rotates for set changes. Donations from Craig’s Welding and Wolf Creek Building Supplies made the set possible. King said the film’s famed leg lamp had been ordered.
Tickets are $15 each and are available at Morinville Community High School, Sobeys Morinville and at the door.