Local residents help Lyric Theatre Co. create Christmas

Lyric Theatre Company’s “A Christmas Story the Musical” debuts on the MainStage of Burlington’s Flynn Center for the Performing Arts for six performances, Nov. 9-12 with multiple cast and crew members from Shelburne.

In 1940s Indiana, a bespectacled boy named Ralphie has one wish for Christmas—a Red Ryder BB gun. A kooky leg lamp, pink bunny PJs, a cranky department store Santa, and a triple-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the obstacles that stand between Ralphie and his dream.

The film, based on the autobiographical short stories by Jean Shepherd, premiered in 1983. The stage musical, which opened on Broadway in 2012, is known for funny and heartfelt songs, dance numbers and wit.

Since early September, 32 cast members have been in rehearsal readying the production for the move to the Flynn in November. Leading Lyric’s team are Shelburne residents Stephen Kendall, the producer, and Artistic Director Kelly Kendall. Music Director Martin Hain waves the baton for the 15-member orchestra. Assistant Directors Kate Kendall, also of Shelburne, and Brent Garrow are mentoring the 13 talented and energetic youth and teens featured in the show.

Other cast members with local connections include Bill Bickford, Mindy Bickford, Lucas Moran, Cole Williams, Ian Ferris, and Rachel Smith.

Several hundred volunteers are simultaneously working on behind-the-scenes elements of the show at Lyric Theatre Company’s new Creative Facility in South Burlington. Seven days a week, they are working on building set pieces, painting vibrant canvases, crafting props, sewing costumes, marking lighting cues, testing sound levels, preparing hair and make-up designs, and doing other tasks necessary to mount this large-scale production designed by Cheri Forsythe.

Lyric Theatre Company is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization. This will be Lyric’s 91st production on the Flynn MainStage. Tickets: $24-$42, with some student/senior discounts; group rates are available. Purchase tickets at the Flynn Center Box Office, call 802-86-FLYNN or order online at flynntix.org. Matinees at 2 p.m. Nov. 11-12. Evening curtain times are 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 9-11 and 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 12. The Sunday matinee will be audio-described for patrons who are blind or visually-impaired.

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