Theater & art

The Ticket: Theater

A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL
CAROL ROSEGG
A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL

A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL There was reason to fret about a musical adaptation of the endearing 1983 film about Ralphie (Jake Lucas, above), a boy yearning for a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. But the creative team managed to replicate the movie’s cheerfully anarchic spirit. As Ralphie’s father and mother, John Bolton and Erin Dilly deliver standout performances. Through Dec. 8. Citi Performing Arts Center, Wang Theatre. 866-348-9738, www.citicenter.org

MIES JULIE  Director Yael Farber’s adaptation of August Strindberg’s “Miss Julie,’’ set in present-day South Africa. Through Dec. 8. ArtsEmerson, Paramount Center Mainstage. 617-824-8400, www.artsemerson.org

THE COCKTAIL HOUR  Though playwright A.R. Gurney could have and should have dug deeper into the issues he raises, especially the question of loyalty to family vs. loyalty to self, this Maria Aitken-directed production succeeds as a briskly entertaining, occasionally touching comedy of manners. Through Dec. 15. Huntington Theatre Company, Boston University Theatre, Boston. 617-266-0800, www.huntingtontheatre.org

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VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE  This broad and scattershot comedy of middle-aged ennui lacks the satiric bite that would make it really top-drawer, much less the fangs that drew blood in such ferociously subversive early Christopher Durang works as “Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You.’’ But even defanged Durang proves to have its rollicking pleasures in this New England premiere, directed with finesse by Curt Columbus and highlighted by Phyllis Kay’s performance as Masha, a vain and self-involved movie star. Through Dec. 22. Trinity Repertory Company, Dowling Theater, Providence. 401-351-4242, www.trinityrep.com

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DON AUCOIN

A LITTLE PRINCESS  Based on the 1905 children’s classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett, this 2004 musical from Brian Crawley and Andrew Lippa changes the story line and leans heavily on Broadway clichés. But the Fiddlehead Theatre presentation, despite its overamplification of the performers, is imaginative, energetic, and hard to resist, with infectious choreography and a winning Sirena Abalian in the title role. The musical hasn’t made it to Broadway, but watching this production, you almost believe it could. Through Dec. 8. Fiddlehead Theatre Company, Strand Theatre, Boston. 781-329-1901, www.fiddleheactheatre.com

JEFFREY GANTZ