Hayden Braun, left, and Kendrew VanGorder at a recent rehearsal for Acadia Community Theatre's production of "A Christmas Story." Braun plays Ralphie in this year's production and VanGorder was in the role in the 2011 ACT production of the play. PHOTO COURTESY OF DOUG VANGORDER

‘A Christmas Story’ to open

Acadia Community Theater presents “A Christmas Story” over the next two weekends at The Neighborhood House and at the Criterion. It’s the second time the community theater group has produced the play, written by Philip Grecian, based on the 1983 Turner Entertainment Co. movie, “A Christmas Story,” which was distributed by Warner Bros. and written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown, and Bob Clark. It’s also based on Jean Shepherd’s work, “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.”

The last time around, in 2011, Kendrew VanGorder starred as Ralphie. This year, VanGorder’s father Doug is making his directorial debut.

“We’ve had a terrific time rehearsing for the show and laughing at the familiar scenes,” VanGorder said. “It’s a family-friendly play that everyone will relate to. We hope you’ll come join us in Hohman, Indiana to see if Ralphie really does shoot his eye out!”

In the classic tale, the lead character Ralphie spends his time scheming to get a “Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time” despite the dire warnings that he’ll “shoot his eye out” from his parents, teacher, and even the department store Santa. It’s a familiar tale, immortalized in the 1983 film starring Peter Billingsley.

Performances are set for Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. at The Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor. The next weekend, the show will move to the 1932 Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor for performances on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 8 at 11 a.m.

“ACT’s show will have all the familiar elements of the classic Christmas tale including the family’s temperamental exploding furnace; Scout Farkas, the school bully; the boys’ experiment with a wet tongue on a cold lamppost; the Little Orphan Annie decoder pin; the soft glow of electric sex in the window; Ralphie’s fantasy scenarios, and more,” a statement from the group said.

Young Ralphie is played by ACT veteran Hayden Braun, and Tucker Atwood narrates the story as adult Ralphie. Ralphie’s family includes Matt Cornish as the father, Jamie Creed as the mother, Bodie Tapley as younger brother Randy, and Molly Dillon as Ralph’s twin sister Ronnie. Ralphie’s classmates include Harlan Mahoney as Schwartz, Adam Losquadro as Flick, Cassielyn Willis as Ester Jane, and Sophia Taylor as Helen. Noah Keeley will play the taunting villain, Scut Farkas.

The group is rounded out by a cast of 25 school children, Angel Hochman as their teacher, and Mark Carignan as Higbee Department Store’s Santa.

The show is produced by Heather Dillon. Seth Clarke is serving as Stage Manager. Matt Hochman is Technical Director and also appears in several cameo roles in the show. VanGorder, Dillon and Hochman also serve on the ACT board of directors.

Jaylene Roths has returned to lead the costuming team with Lori Jordan and Geneva Langley. The costumes were designed to reflect the play’s setting in the Midwest in the 1940s.

Tickets are $10/adult and $8 for students, seniors and active military. Tickets for children (ages 2-12) are $6 each, and children under age 2 are free. General seating tickets for the Neighborhood House performances will be available by cash or check at the door or in advance with a fee at www.acadiacommunitytheater.net.

Tickets for the performances at the Criterion Theatre will be available at the door or in advance with a fee at www.criteriontheatre.org. Reserved seating in the Criterion Theatre balcony is also available for an extra $2/ticket. Contact [email protected].


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