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Washington Voices

CV’s ‘Christmas Story’ a musical look back to childhood

Thu., Nov. 28, 2013

It’s a musical based on nostalgia – a grown-up Ralph Parker reflects on the Christmas he received his best present ever, an air rifle.

The drama department at Central Valley High School has pulled out all the stops for “A Christmas Story,” based on stories by Jean Shepherd and the movie of the same name. The musical is currently on a tour through Hartford, Conn., Boston and New York City. Since it’s still in production, the school received special permission to stage it. Director Mike Muzatko said CV is one of three theaters in Washington, Oregon and Idaho to receive the rights to the show – and he didn’t get them until three days before auditions.

“No one is getting the rights,” he said.

The production includes sets of the Parker home, built by students in the theater tech and design class offered by the school. One of two classes like this in the state, about 90 students a year earn career and technical education credits.

For the production, the department bought a machine that creates snow to fall on the actors. The snow is made from a soap base and it dries under the lights. One scene that uses the machine is when Ralphie’s friend Flick gets his tongue stuck to a frozen flagpole.

The drama department is self-supporting. Budgets for the school’s productions come from ticket sales, sponsors and donations from both businesses and community members.

During each production of the play, Muzatko said there are no adults backstage. He usually sits in the audience and watches the show.

“They are running everything,” he said.

The cast: Ralph, Noah Rhodes; Ralphie Parker, Jared Korver; Randy Parker, Damean Galloway; The Old Man, Joshua Spencer; Mother, Madison Ambriz; Miss Shields, Anika Martin; Flick/Desperado One, Payton Cooley; Schwartz/Desperado Two, Ian Fulmer; Scut Farkas/Black Bart/Elf, Dennis Burgess; Ester Jane Alberry, Amanda Guarsico; Helen Weathers, Jenessa Maynes; Santa/Tree guy/Desperado, Henry Lorge; Delivery Man/RR/Desperado, Chris Pittella; Elf/School kid/Elf, Amber Gimlin; Desperado/School kid/ Elf, Jonathan Graham.

The crew: Zach Brommer, Emily Boynton, Amber Gimlin, Chris Pittella, David Stanley, Jonathan Graham, Tyler Rigby, Kennedi Newman, Hannah Harwood, Jake Lindley, Hannah Pagels, Danielle Guarisco.

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