A Christmas Westside Story Rocks Around Christmas Tree


From l, “Randy” (Beth Kennedy), “Mom” (Leah Sprecher), “Old Man” (Rick Batalla), and “Ralphie” (Matt Walker) in Troubadour Theater Company’s “A Christmas Westside Story” at the Falcon Theatre.

Blending Ralphie’s search for a Red Ryder BB gun with numbers from West Side Story is a work of pure genius, another one of the Troubadour Theater Company’s long line of Christmas parody hits. The entertaining production features excellent performances and design as it cheekily channels the Troubies’ inner Broadway show queens.

The story follows Ralphie’s anxious quest to get a Red Ryder BB gun as his Christmas present, told through hilarious lyrics set to West Side Story songs and dance moves. Who knew that Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, and Stephen Sondheim could be so funny?

Director/writer Matt Walker keeps things bopping along, energetic, happy, and playful. He combines loving nostalgia, off-the-wall improv, and great musical skill into an almost true Broadway style musical.

His fine cast displays excellent singing and dancing talent along with strong comedy and improvisational skills. Walker, Beth Kennedy, Robert Petrarca, and Leah Sprecher give knockout performances.

Production design and costumes are simply marvelous, understated yet gorgeous. Naomi Yoshida has created spot-on costumes for the 1940s, along with witty little touches like the human lamp costume, lampshade dresses, and a superb red and white satin cowgirl number.

Choreographer Molly Alvarez successfully apes Robbins’ dance moves, along with some inventive spins herself. Robert Arturo Ramirez’s fine sound design also enhances the show.

An understated, loving parody of West Side Story combined with a wacky re-telling of A Christmas Story, the show is another holiday hit for the wacky Troubies.

The Falcon Theatre presents the Troubadour Theater Company’s production of A Christmas Westside Story Wednesday through Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., though show times vary each week. Tickets cost $34.50–$37 weekdays (Wednesday & Thursday), $39.50-$42 weekends (Friday—Sunday), with a $27.00 student rate. Please visit www.Falcontheatre.com or call (818) 955-8101 to buy tickets or obtain information.

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