South Burlington residents are helping to bring a beloved holiday classic to the stage for Lyric Theatre’s 91st production at the Flynn Theater. Standing L-R Rita Myers, Cole Patno, Kim Steinfeld, Lauren Johnson, Sharon Patno, Shirley Sweet, Kerry Farrell, Janet Bessmer, Len Rubin, Karyn Dubie and Nathan Brown. Seated L-R Juliana Tomlinson, Charli Kellaway, and Ronnie Thom Farrell. Photo Credit: Stephen Mease Photography  

Christmas Comes Early: Local Talent Part of Lyric’s Production of a Holiday Favorite

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Thursday October 19, 2017

Lyric Theatre Company’s “A Christmas Story The Musical” will debut on the MainStage of Burlington’s Flynn Center for the Performing Arts for six performances, November 9 through 12. The musical, which opened on Broadway in 2012, captures holiday wonder with funny and heartfelt songs by the Tony-winning songwriting team of “La La Land,” show stopping dance numbers including a leg lamp kick line, delicious wit, and a heart of gold.

32 cast members have been in rehearsal since early September under the direction of Kelly Kendall, while several hundred volunteers are simultaneously at work behind-the-scenes at Lyric’s new creative facility in South Burlington. Seven days a week, you can find busy elves building set pieces, painting 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.

Members of the cast with ties to the South Burlington community include Ronnie Thom Farrell as Ralphie Parker; Nathan Brown as Scut Farkas; Charli Kellaway as Esther Jane; Juliana Tomlinson as Nancy; and as part of the ensemble, Evan Brown and Lauren Johnson. Residents involved on the production side of the musical include costume designer Kerry Farrell; co-chair of costume construction, Andi Olsen; wardrobe manager Kim Steinfeld; assistant stage manager Shirley Sweet; chair of set decoration, Janet Bessmer; chair of promotional wear, Karyn Dubie; set construction co-chair Len Rubin, and costume crew members, Rita Myers, Sharon Patno, and Cole Patno.

Lyric’s production is a musical version of the popular 1983 film, “A Christmas Story,” based on the autobiographical short stories by Jean Shepherd. It takes place in 1940s Indiana, where 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.

Lyric Theatre Company is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization and “A Christmas Story The Musical” will be their 91st production on the Flynn MainStage. For more information about the production and tickets, visit and