A Christmas Story is one of the most enduring and relatable Christmas movies of all time. It tells the story of a child’s unique perspective on the trivial milestones in life that seem so important at the time, as well as obsession, eventual regret, and familial forgiveness. It also shows why you should never stick your tongue to a pole in the middle of winter. It’s important.
It’s also a movie that’s been played in 24-hour blocks for over 20 years. A Christmas Story can sustain an audience, even if it’s just background noise as the hustle and bustle of the holidays go on around its warming glow. It’s an institution now. That means any new version of the 1983 film based on the 1966 novel In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepard will be met with plenty of side-eye and busy tweeting fingers and Fox’s A Christmas Story: Live was no exception.
The stage musical has been on Broadway since 2012, and the television broadcast version was joyfully intoxicating, mixing everything great about A Christmas Story with spectacular production value and catchy little numbers led by a brilliant Maya Rudolph.
The work put into the preparation for scene changes alone was astonishing. Each set was meticulously recreated to resemble the movie’s 1940s Indiana, but also worked perfectly for the live show. Ralphie’s little brother hides under the sink when he thinks that his dad is going to kill his brother and you could feel the cold coming off the snow piles as the family shops for a Christmas tree.