Grand brings holiday classic 'A Christmas Story' to stage
The seasonal barrage of Christmas television shows and specials is about to begin, but those who just can't wait can visit the Grand Theatre in Elizabeth, where “A Christmas Story” will be presented Thursday through Sunday.
Director Jeanie Cygrymus said fans of the movie should enjoy the stage production.
“There are some differences but the main things in the movie are definitely there,” she said. “You have the lamp and the Red Ryder BB gun. It's definitely true to the movie.”
What's different, she said, are a lamppost instead of a flagpole and the presence of the narrator — an adult Ralphie — in every scene.
“This is one of my husband's favorite movies,” Cygrymus said. “I knew of the movie and have watched it a few times but it wasn't one of those things where I said I had to direct it some day.”
She said she plans to watch when the movie is televised this season.
“It will be fun to see the difference between the movie and stage production,” she said.
Cygrymus said she was “a little nervous at first to bring this iconic movie to life” when she was asked to direct the stage show.
“You know people are expecting certain things and you want to be sure everyone fits their parts,” she explained.
The 17-member cast includes adults and youth.
“We are having a great time with the kids and adults,” the director said. “This is one of the first times I've worked with a mixed group. The children are learning from the adults, but the children have some pretty important parts.”
Bringing the movie to life are Tyson Sears as adult Ralphie; Ellen Small as Ralphie's mother; Ray Cygrymus as Ralphie's father — The Old Man; Amber Kocher as Ms. Shields; Matt Fedorek as Ralphie; Connor Vaccari as Randy; Boyd Skobel as Flick; Michael Mendicino as Schwartz; Zeke Stuart as Scut Farkas; Abbey Evanko as Esther Jane; Chloe Skerkoski as Helen; Jeff Fedorek as Santa/Radio Announcer; Angelina Jordan as Mary Kate; Emily Linder as Molly; Noah Cramer as Billy; Sage Smith as Patty; and Olivia Ratica as Stephanie.
She started as a performer, but Cygrymus took a break from the stage to when her daughters were born. When her husband Ray had a role in a show at the Grand and she did the sound, she thought she would like to try directing.
This is her third show as director at the Grand. She also helmed “Jekyll & Hyde” and “Daddy's Girl.” For the past three summers, the first-grade teacher has been the director of the South Park Children's Theater.
“I really enjoy directing,” she said. “It's exciting to see your ideas come to life and it's what you had envisioned.”
She said she hopes the audience “laughs a lot” at “A Christmas Story.”
“And I hope the last scene touches their hearts and brings back that Christmas feeling of being home,” she said. “I hope to get lots of laughter through the whole show but it makes people think of the meaning of Christmas.”
Carol Waterloo Frazier is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1916, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steel Valley board denies teachers union restroom grievance
- Police arrest suspect in fatal Wilmerding shooting
- Vigil marks 6-year anniversary of Clairton coach’s death
- Mon-Yough area candidates bumped off ballots vow to fight on
- West Mifflin Area to sue for tuition reimbursement
- Clairton schools honor alumni in mentoring program
- Petition challenges end 1 North Versailles candidate’s run for judge
- Steel Valley police departments remind parents of restrictions at the Waterfront
- Kane residents, McKeesport Area students enjoy cosmetology partnership
- Wrestling up-and-comers to strut their stuff at PWX Wrestleplex
- Historian to share women’s tales of World War II steel mill work in McKeesport