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A Christmas Classic

A Christmas Story, a near-genius piece of American reminiscence, is so period-perfect and charming that the squishy sentimentality (of which there is plenty) never leads to saccharine reflux. Philip Grecian is listed as the playwright, but everyone understands that the bulk of insights and telling detail comes from the mind of Jean Shepherd, who wrote the original story, co-authored the movie, and narrated the flick in his distinctive, triple-wry voice. The Cleveland Play House’s production of Story rides a two-hour wave of intricate details to unerringly establish the period and to help even the youngest patrons make the leap back to a time before televisions were omnipresent and cowboy hero Red Ryder was king of the wireless. The Shepherd-inspired language uses a mock-heroic tone to add color and depth to the simplest thoughts. For instance, rather than saying the Old Man swore a lot back in Illinois, old Ralphie avers that his dad “had woven a tapestry of obscenity over Lake Michigan that still hangs there today.” That’s the kind of luxuriant wordplay that can bring audiences back, again and again. The play opens tonight at 7:30 at the Allen Theatre. Performances continue through Dec. 21. Tickets are $55 to $75. (Christine Howey)

Venue Details

  • Allen Theatre

    1407 Euclid Ave., Cleveland Downtown/Flats/Warehouse District

    216-241-6000

    2 events 2 articles

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