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The Marco Players present A Christmas Story
Ralphie the Kid saves the day by scaring off Black Bart with his Red Rider BB Gun. From left: Eddy Ludwigsen (Old Man), Ryan Sullivan (Ralphie), Ben Anderson (Randy) and Jessica Lang (Mother). Photos by Noelle H. Lowery

The Marco Players present A Christmas Story

By Noelle H. Lowery
noelle@coastalbreezenews.com

The most classic of all scenes from A Christmas Story, Ryan Sullivan as Ralphie (left) and Josiah Hurtley as Schwartz (center) watch as Cameron Campbell as Flick sticks his tongue to a frozen light pole on a tripledog dare.

The most classic of all scenes from A Christmas Story, Ryan Sullivan as Ralphie (left) and Josiah Hurtley as Schwartz (center) watch as Cameron Campbell as Flick sticks his tongue to a frozen light pole on a tripledog dare.

“You’ll shoot your eye out!”

It’s a phrase that has become synonymous with Christmas for many folks between the ages of 30 and 50. It’s a phrase that has come to symbolize the depth of yearning that comes with wanting that one special, perfect Christmas gift. It’s a phrase that when said in mixed company usually generates hoots of laughter followed by a litany of other familiar phrases from the 1983 classic A Christmas Story.

“I can’t put my arms down!”

“I triple-dog dare ya!”

“That’s a major award!”

“A legendary official Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle with a compass and this thing which tells time built right into the stock.”

As the narrator, Ralph, Cooper Ussery waxes nostalgic about his character’s childhood quest for a legendary official Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle. Here, he and Ryan Sullivan as the young Ralphie plot how to get the rifle for Christmas.

As the narrator, Ralph, Cooper Ussery waxes nostalgic about his character’s childhood quest for a legendary official Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle. Here, he and Ryan Sullivan as the young Ralphie plot how to get the rifle for Christmas.

All of these phrases and more brought down the house recently at The Marco Players Theater when the TMP Children’s Theater presented its own production of A Christmas Story as its first show of the season. The show was directed by Gina Sisbarro, and featured Marco Island Charter Middle School students Cooper Ussery and Ryan Sullivan as the older and younger vestiges of the story’s main character, Ralph/Ralphie Parker. This production also incorporated choir performances prior to the beginning of the show and during the intermission.

For those unfamiliar with the plot, the elder Ralph narrates the story of the Christmas he wanted a Red Ryder BB gun. The action follows the younger Ralphie on his quest as he works every angle to get his heart’s desire. From asking Santa Claus to writing an essay for school to stuffing his parents’ mailbox full of ads, Ralphie tries it all.

 Jessica Lang as Mother reacts to Ralphie’s ‘Oh fudge!’ moment.

Jessica Lang as Mother reacts to Ralphie’s ‘Oh fudge!’ moment.

Needless to say, the cast and crew invested a great deal of time and energy into the production, rehearsing every day except Sunday since early November. There was an added challenge this year as well. Sisbarro recruited veterans of TMP Children’s Theater to take responsibility for the production. Emily Boxma, a seventh-grader at MICMS, served as assistant director, while high school students and seasoned actresses Abby Martin and Mariel Sanchez were the musical directors.

For two of the three performances, the three girls ran the show sans Sisbarro, who was attending her daughter’s college graduation. Despite the pressure and packed houses, everyone was a star, and no one shot their eye out.

Cast and Crew of A Christmas Story

Ryan Sullivan

Alexandria Anderson

Cooper Ussery

Delaney Mann Wallett

JessicaLang Devon Wheeler

Eddy Ludwigsen

Sloan Wheeler

Ben Anderson

Kaitlin Campbell

Cameron Campbell

Bailey Sparks

Josiah Hurtley

Mariel Sanchez


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