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A Christmas Story Live (Fox) - General Discussion


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Two-time Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick will star as the narrator where he will play the grown-up “Ralphie Parker,” who looks back with love and humor on his favorite childhood Christmas. Broderick joins previously announced Emmy Award nominee Maya Rudolph in the three-hour live musical production. After a nationwide digital casting call, 11-year-old Andy Walken, from Seattle, WA, has been cast in the role of “Ralphie Parker." Tony Award winner Jane Krakowski and Emmy Award nominee Chris Diamantopoulos have been cast in featured roles. Ana Gasteyer will play “Mrs. Schwartz,” the mother of one of “Ralphie’s” friends. Ken Jeong, David Alan Grier and PRETTYMUCH will also take part in the special. Ken Jeong will play two roles: a Christmas tree salesman and a restaurant owner. David Alan Grier will play Santa Claus and PRETTYMUCH will perform as the Hohman Indiana carolers.

 

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22 minutes ago, chitowngirl said:

Nobody ever could be! But since they can't get him...

I agree with the review posted above: Matthew Broderick is kind of like the creepy uncle.

Loved the Hanukkah song.

Did they change the name of the rifle?

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Enjoying this so far. The cast is great and songs are performed well. The kids are especially doing great and are really talented. I volunteer at a theater that did this last year and must say they are staying faithful to the show.

My only complaint is the captioning is horrible. They are so delayed, especially with the songs or when the dialogue is fast. I know it’s live but don’t they have a script they could go off of to make sure there is less of a delay? Aren’t live productions on a 10 second delay, so the captioning should be able to keep up? I only use captioning to catch stuff you miss when the characters mumble or talk to fast, so I can still keep up with the show but if I was deaf I am not sure I would be able to keep up.

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1 hour ago, MadyGirl1987 said:

Enjoying this so far. The cast is great and songs are performed well. The kids are especially doing great and are really talented. I volunteer at a theater that did this last year and must say they are staying faithful to the show.

I agree, for the most part, but I think Maya Rudolph was by far the weakest, both in acting and singing. Jane Krakowski would have been a better choice for the mom.

However, in general, I don't particularly care for Fox live shows. I think NBC did better staging with "Sound of Music." 

I guess in our culturally sensitive time, they couldn't do the Chinese restaurant scene the way it was done in the movie.

Edited by SmithW6079
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I'm digging it. I like seeing child performers do their thing. They're all adorable. Reminds me of my triumph playing a wayward elf who steals Santa's magic and ruins Christmas in a community production when I was 11 (I even got a standing ovation LOL). 

I saw a lot of hate on Twitter and some of the early reviews aren't so good but I think it's really well executed and impressive. Does it need to be 3 hours long? Probably not.

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23 hours ago, SmithW6079 said:

I agree, for the most part, but I think Maya Rudolph was by far the weakest, both in acting and singing. Jane Krakowski would have been a better choice for the mom.

Funny how the opinions here vary so wildly.  I thought Maya Rudolph was the strongest performer, I'm a big fan of hers.  In fact, I didn't think the show really found its footing until the scene where she dealt with Ralphie after he got into a fight.  The second half of the show seemed a lot stronger than the first half.  Maybe that's the nature of theater though, things work themselves to a climax.

I also liked the job Matthew Broderick did.  No creepy uncle vibe from me.  He started to stumble over a few lines a bit in the last hour, must have been getting tired.  But it didn't matter.  I thought he served the spirit of Jean Shepherd's writer/narrator role well. 

I thought Ana Gastayer sang surprisingly well also.

Speaking of cultural sensitivity, it was kind of cute the way they got around the Chinese restaurant scene with the staff singing Christmas Carols.

And I didn't realize until the very end that Maya Rudolph, who is half African-American, had white children in this show taking place in 1940s America.  I found it kind of funny.

Edited by rmontro
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I couldn't make it beyond 20 minutes.  It was so bad.  What was great about the original movie was, despite it being about kids, it resisted being cloying.  Here, all of the kids were cloying.  Scenes that were funny in the movie, like Randy being over-bundled up, came across as forced.  I'm a bit bored of the movie after so many viewings, but after this, I look forward to watching it again.

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I thought it was god awful and turned it off after they made the anorexia /ballerina joke in the meatloaf scene (Every family has a child that doesn’t eat, usually it’s a ballerina but in our family it was Randy) between that, the smarminess, the frankly, bizarre songs ( When You’re A Wimp” umm really? Great message for the kids- you’ll get beat up if you’re small but don’t worry if you grow enough you can be a bully too! ) and the dreadful, nausea inducing camera work I was really confused by the whole thing.

 

I flipped to The Sound of Music instead and was much happier. 

Edited by buffy11bnl
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2 hours ago, buffy11bnl said:

I thought it was god awful and turned it off after they made the anorexia /ballerina joke in the meatloaf scene (Every family has a child that doesn’t eat, usually it’s a ballerina but in our family it was Randy) between that, the smarminess, the frankly, bizarre songs ( When You’re A Wimp” umm really? Great message for the kids- you’ll get beat up if you’re small but don’t worry if you grow enough you can be a bully too! ) and the dreadful, nausea inducing camera work I was really confused by the whole thing.

 

I flipped to The Sound of Music instead and was much happier. 

Thought it was pretty good, overall...and NOTHING would be bad enough to make me switch over to The Sound of Music...most overrated musical, ever (to me).

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4 hours ago, Brn2bwild said:

I couldn't make it beyond 20 minutes.  It was so bad.  What was great about the original movie was, despite it being about kids, it resisted being cloying.  Here, all of the kids were cloying.  Scenes that were funny in the movie, like Randy being over-bundled up, came across as forced.  I'm a bit bored of the movie after so many viewings, but after this, I look forward to watching it again.

The kid who played Randy was SO bad.  I know he's young, but that hammy little overactor had me eye rolling many times.   The Ralphie actor did fine.

Add me to the list who thought Maya Rudolph was surprisingly weak in acting and voice.  I expected her to be amazing.  But the one who blew me away was Ana Gastayer.  Who knew she could sing like that!  Chris D as the dad was really good, too. 

I didn't hate this and didn't love it.  It'll be nice to see the original and cleanse my palate, though.

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I ended up fast forwarding through most of the show.  It seems to me that Ana Gastayer should have been the mother.  I saw her on Broadway a decade ago in a production of The Threepenny Opera and she was great there (even if the whole show wasn't reviewed well).  The narrator staging was intrusive; it doesn't matter who played him, even Jean Shepard would have come off weird being around and in the action so much.  The direction was overall pretty awkward and unrefined and the show was just too damn long.  The commercials didn't help, breaking any momentum that was built.  And what the hell was that opening song?  I didn't last beyond 30 seconds with that grating voiced gal.

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I enjoyed this for what it was but it wasn't spectacular. I did enjoy Randy, I laughed when he ran away screaming from Santa. 

I also liked the slip up towards the end when Maya Rudolph called the turkey a purkey. She and Chris D saved that scene with how they recovered.

I did like the kids, they where all pretty good. My husband was grudgingly watching this with me (he hates musicals) and made a stupid comment. I told him "you're full of beans!"

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7 hours ago, Brn2bwild said:

I couldn't make it beyond 20 minutes.  It was so bad. 

I spent most of the first hour and a half thinking about how bad it was.  But then the last half seemed to be more enjoyable.

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Wow....I am shocked by all the bad comments because I really enjoyed it!  The only part I didn't care for was the opening number...we were going "wtf is this?" lol  It just didn't fit and honestly looked to us like an extended Old Navy commercial!

I thought Matthew Broderick was perfect and loved that the narrator was a part of the scenes.  The sets were amazing!  I would love to know what they used for snow because it looked so real, and behaved like real snow in that it stuck to the feet and they tracked it in the house and the tire marks it made.  The highlight for me was Jane K and her tap number with the kids.  I floved it!!  The only mis-cast I thought was Flick....not because he was black, but because he was way too tall!  When the adults all came to rescue him from flagpole, he was almost as tall as them.

Anyways....I thought it was an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday night and it made me smile.

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12 minutes ago, Cupcake04 said:

The only mis-cast I thought was Flick....not because he was black, but because he was way too tall!  When the adults all came to rescue him from flagpole, he was almost as tall as them.

 

It was kind of funny when Flick was doing his sthuck-sthuck-sthuck thing and his tongue actually came unstuck for a second.   

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9 minutes ago, Suzysite said:

It was kind of funny when Flick was doing his sthuck-sthuck-sthuck thing and his tongue actually came unstuck for a second.   

LOL  Yeah that happened a couple of times.  The kid who played Flick in movie said that they drilled a small hole in the pole and put a small tube in it with vacuum suction so his tongue stayed "stuck". 

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My verdict: meh. The performances were great, especially Ana Gasteyer, Jane Krakowski, Ken Jeong, Fred Armisen, Chris Diamonpolis (sp?) & the kids, but most of the songs were forgettable. The Greatest Showman preview was a much better musical in 2 & a 1/2 minutes that this show was in 3 hours.

16 hours ago, movingtargetgal said:

I wish they would have cast Peter Billingsley as the narrator.  Matthew Broderick does give off a creepy uncle vibe.

PB would have made a great narrator, Santa Claus or Mr. Bumpus. David Alan Grier was a funny Santa, but PB would have been a nice shout-out to the original film.

Edited by DollEyes
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I wonder if a lot of people who didn't like it thought it was a live version of the movie not the B'Way musicale.  Because I feel like it wasn't marketed well (or often) so maybe those that only knew it as a movie didn't realize.  Maybe I missed them but they didn't seem to have a flood of commercials or promos for it that I saw, especially promo's that highlighted the music/singing portion.

As a version of the musicale though I thought it was good.  My only complaint would be the music to voice sound ratio.  I had trouble hearing them sometimes and even trouble hearing Matthew Broderick talk because his "background" music could be pretty loud.

Edited by sigmaforce86
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21 hours ago, chitowngirl said:

Could the opening song BE anymore autotuned? I couldn't understand a word of it.

But Matthew Broderick is perfect as the narrator.

Agreed. One of my biggest complaints was that the original songs didn't sound period appropriate. They sounded like modern generic rock influenced musical songs, instead of something from the late 1930s/early 1940s. I thought the scene at the Schwartzes was a total waste and didn't add anything. I did like the throwaway at the end where they were at the Chinese restaurant. 

4 hours ago, Cupcake04 said:

The highlight for me was Jane K and her tap number with the kids.  

This was my favorite song in the production. I loved that it sounded like something from the late 1930s/early 1940s and that the feel of it was a combination of the gangster films and musicals that Ralphie would have seen at the local movie theatre. My other favorite moment was the leg lamp dancers/kick-line. 

Overall, I was disappointed. I'm okay with taking a movie that wasn't originally a musical, turning it into a musical and changing plot points/characters in the process. My problem was that the musical numbers went on for too long and in most cases didn't really add anything.  

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9 hours ago, DollEyes said:

The performances were great, especially Ana Gasteyer, Jane Krakowski, Ken Jeong, Fred Armisen, Chris Diamonpolis (sp?) & the kids, but most of the songs were forgettable. The Greatest Showman preview was a much better musical in 2 & a 1/2 minutes that this show was in 3 hours.

Again, I thought Maya Rudolph was great.  But I agree the songs weren't very memorable.  

I've never seen the musical version on stage before though, so I didn't mind at all that we were getting the Broadway version.  While I've seen the regular movie countless times.

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On 12/17/2017 at 8:47 PM, SmithW6079 said:

I guess in our culturally sensitive time, they couldn't do the Chinese restaurant scene the way it was done in the movie.

When Ken Jeong brought out his staff to sing, I prepared myself to cringe. While I still laugh at the "fa-ra-ra-ra-ra" of the original, I like that in this version they flipped the script and made the workers really good singers who spoke perfect English. I also liked the extra bit where 3 of the singers were Ken Jeong's sons.

I admit to only watching parts of the live version, but what I did watch was mostly meh. The Ralphie actor, I thought, was the worst of the main child actors. He just had no screen presence. In the original, Peter Billingsley held his own with the adult actors and his facial expressions sold all of Ralphie's emotions. This new actor sounded like he was reading his lines and had a tendency to look off to the side when he should have been looking directly at the person speaking to him. And he looked positively lost in Ana Gasteyer's Hanukkah number. There was one moment where Ralphie and Mrs. Schwartz go out the front door and onto the porch, where I saw AG literally grab Ralphie and turn him in the right direction. Otherwise he would have kept going right when the routine called for them to go forward & down the steps. For a few seconds the child actor looked directly at the camera and, I swear, he looked like a deer in the headlights. To say that I was underwhelmed and unimpressed by his performance would be an understatement. And it's not like all the child actors were terrible; I thought the one's playing Schwartz, Flick, and Randy were fine.

I read a preview (I can't remember now where) that said that there was heartbreaking revelation at the end that was not in the original version. I assumed Matthew Broderick's Ralphie would reveal that his dad or mom died soon after that Christmas or that Randy was hit by a car and paralyzed. Or something equally devastating. But I didn't see or hear anything. Did I miss it or was nothing actually divulged?

Edited by bunnyblue
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5 hours ago, bunnyblue said:

I read a preview (I can't remember now where) that said that there was heartbreaking revelation at the end that was not in the original version. 

Maybe it was when adult Ralphie returned kid Ralphie's mitten and they "met". Not heartbreaking as much as heart string tugging?

I agree with those that said the first half dragged, but then the second half was better. The song were pretty forgettable, but the one Maya sings about moments passing quickly brought a tear to my eye. 

I wish the infamous stuck tongue scene was done a little better, the actor's tongue noticeably came off the pole twice. 

I wouldn't rewatch this, but it was entertaining and put me in the Christmas spirit.

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8 hours ago, bunnyblue said:

I read a preview (I can't remember now where) that said that there was heartbreaking revelation at the end that was not in the original version. I assumed Matthew Broderick's Ralphie would reveal that his dad or mom died soon after that Christmas or that Randy was hit by a car and paralyzed. Or something equally devastating. But I didn't see or hear anything. Did I miss it or was nothing actually divulged?

The only thing I can think of was when Ralphie went outside to shoot his rifle and he broke his glasses. His mom came outside and he told her some elaborate lie that an icicle came off the roof and hit him in the face and that is what broke his glasses. His mom acted like she belived him and he went back inside. She then said something to the effect that she knew he was going to shoot his eye out and adult Ralphie was like "wait, Mom knew I was lying?" Not really heartbreaking but maybe shocking for Ralpie that his mom had his number the whole time

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I saw A Christmas Story when it first came out and I knew then and there at my tender young age it was a movie that I'd cherish forever. I'm thrilled that it has stood the test of time and is still as endearing now as it was then. I still laugh and get tickled at how funny and quotable it is.

Reading this forum I don't know if I should give this rendition a shot. Its sitting on my DVR but now I'm torn. Any recommendations?

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4 hours ago, CherryAmes said:

I only saw a few minutes of it but was enjoying it, my husband?  Not so much!  We ended up turning it off, I got tired of the snotty comments.  I wish I'd PVRed it.

It's on demand on Direct.

I watched it after recording and it seemed long, even cutting out commercials.  But it was enjoyable. Just not as good as the original and not one I would play around the clock on a loop.

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On 12/17/2017 at 10:42 PM, rmontro said:

I thought Ana Gastayer sang surprisingly well also.

She has been in a TON of musicals.

On 12/18/2017 at 11:33 AM, sigmaforce86 said:

I wonder if a lot of people who didn't like it thought it was a live version of the movie not the B'Way musicale.  Because I feel like it wasn't marketed well (or often) so maybe those that only knew it as a movie didn't realize.  Maybe I missed them but they didn't seem to have a flood of commercials or promos for it that I saw, especially promo's that highlighted the music/singing portion.

I saw plenty of promos but not one of them explicitly said it was the musical. The only reason I expected it to be the musical was because I knew there had recently been a musical based on the movie on Broadway, and there was no other reason for the advertising scheme to be all "A Christmas Story, Live!" in the exact same tone they advertised all the other live musicals on TV if this were a live version of the non-musical movie. I think that they thought phrasing it that way was enough, that it'd feel like it was next-in-the-series after Grease, Live. But I think that while the movie is ubiquitous, that a musical exists is not. So probably a lot of people were confused.

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4 hours ago, theatremouse said:

I saw plenty of promos but not one of them explicitly said it was the musical. The only reason I expected it to be the musical was because I knew there had recently been a musical based on the movie on Broadway, and there was no other reason for the advertising scheme to be all "A Christmas Story, Live!" in the exact same tone they advertised all the other live musicals on TV if this were a live version of the non-musical movie.

The only reason I thought it might be the musical was I watching a football game and they were promoting the show, and one of the announcers said his daughter couldn't stop singing "Ralphie to the Rescue".

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