Ralphie Parker might shoot your eye out.

Lamppost Licking 

Ralphie Parker might shoot your eye out.

11/1-12/28

The timing seems a little trigger-happy, but, as far as the American Heartland Theatre is concerned, the Christmas season started last Saturday. That's when the theater company debuted its stage adaptation of A Christmas Story.Amid the glut of seasonal programming, fans have always been able to recognize the movie version as soon as they heard its most popular line: "You'll shoot your eye out!" Not to be confused with the timeless It's a Wonderful Life, 1983's A Christmas Story follows the saga of Ralphie Parker as he evades bullies and frozen poles on his quest to get his hands on the hottest item since decoder rings: the coveted Red Ryder 200-shot, carbine-action air rifle.

Though the staged version is already running at full steam, the film doesn't go into heavy rotation on cable until the Thanksgiving turkey comes out of the oven. By getting a jump on the holiday season and playing all the way through December 28, the live-action installment may run as many times on the American Heartland stage as the film is broadcast on USA and TBS combined.

The American Heartland Theatre (2450 Grand Boulevard in Crown Center) presents A Christmas Story Tuesdays through Sundays with varying showtimes and ticket prices. For details, see ahtkc.com or call 816-842-9999.-- Michael Vennard

Fun on Ice
Crown Center's ice rink opens for the season.

FRI 11/7

If you want to go ice skating for free this year, you'll have to get the kids up early. The Ice Terrace at Crown Center (2450 Grand Boulevard) opens for the season with a free skate from 6 to 9 a.m. Friday. We don't know if he'll be on skates or not, but Perry the Penguin is scheduled to appear. There will also be free coffee and doughnuts.Although this three-hour morning window on opening day is the only opportunity for free skating, the regular cost is only $6 to get on the ice and another $2 to rent the bladed footwear. Budding Casanovas should keep "two for one" Tuesdays (5 to 9 p.m.) in mind if they want to save some dough while catching cooties. For details, call 816-274-4020.-- Vennard

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