The tireless efforts made by young Ralphie Parker in pursuit of an "Official Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot range model air rifle" and the reasons why he'll never get it are familiar to all, thanks to repeated viewings of the holiday classic A Christmas Story every year. But its familiarity does not make it any less beloved. Bob Clark's film, based on Jean Shepherd's short-story collection In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, is timeless because it's rooted in truth. Kids become single-minded maniacs at Christmas, parents try to do what they think is best for kids, and occasionally the maniacs and parents end up on the same side of the argument. Philip Grecian's stage adaptation of the tale, A Christmas Story, hopes to capture the same sense of honesty and warmth. It's a tall order, because the Parkers as we know them are second family. Still, it's worth a shot — a good Christmas Story is a wonderful thing. The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis stages A Christmas Story Tuesday through Sunday (December 2 through 27; no show Christmas Eve or Day) on the Browning Mainstage at the Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road; 314-968-4925 or www.repstl.org). Tickets are $15 to $68.
Tuesdays-Sundays; Dec. 26-27. Starts: Dec. 8. Continues through Dec. 23, 2009