In the Fall of 2017 I had the honor to be the costume designer for Lyric Theater Company’s
A Christmas Story
When I took the position I had no idea that the best part would be that Ronnie, my son, would be cast as Ralphie. It was so special and magical for us to share this amazing experience together!
The show was quite the costume undertaking with the 12 children in the cast having 7 costumes each that included many quick changes, outdoor gear, tap shoes that needed to be hushed, and so much more.
Here is how the amazing costume goddesses at Lyric helped me pull it off!
The show opens with Jean Shepard, the narrator, walking to his studio in the 1970’s and he runs into a salvation army santa which he talks about on his show. It reminds him of a christmas long ago- and the story begins!
Jean and Ralphie had identical costumes to indicate that they were the same character – argyle sweater, blue shirt and khakis. Jean wore his the entire show and Ralphie had it on for most of the show.
We had other actors in the overture who passed in front of the stage in 70’s costumes but I can’t find pictures of them. It was fun searching eBay and other places for authentic 70s winter gear!
“It All Comes Down to Christmas”
This moment would tear me up every show.
It is the first time the audience sees Ralphie. He would sit up on the set and hide behind the magazine while dialogue was going on down below until his cue to start the song.
He then comes down the stairs and gets ready to go to Higbees.
This picture shows the struggle of the outdoor gear! Every character had a coat, hat, and gloves/mittens. It was not easy getting it on and off or keeping track of it all.
Other than his costume that matched Jean’s, he had a plaid coat and a brown aviator type winter hat. He of course had a scarf and mittens. We sewed all the scarves to the coats in an attempt to not lose them. His shoes were hush puppies. The coat he wore was made from a vintage pattern I found.
Randy wore a pair of brown corduroy overalls with a striped shirt most of the show. The overalls were made from wide wale corduroy and were just adorable. He had a blue coat, also made from a vintage pattern. His shoes I found at a second hand store. He also has his snowsuit- we will see later in the show!
As they move to Higgbee’s Department store we see the family with their outdoor gear.
Then we see the ensemble come on and they are all in their outdoor gear! The “parents” had to put on their children’s coats and hats! It was not an easy task.
The number ends with the window at Higgbee’s!
Another one of my favorite shots from the show- seeing the entire ensemble!