If you can’t get enough of the Yuletide antics of Ralphie, Flick, Schwartz & the gang – plus that shapely by shameful leg lamp – in the 1983 classic ‘A Christmas Story,’ Sammy Ramírez has the answer.
The 11-year-old Ramírez will join veteran actors like Maya Rudolph and Matthew Broderick for ‘A Christmas Story Live!’ this Sunday (Dec. 17) on the Fox network (KMPH Channel 26 in Fresno). The live show will air from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern time, and delayed on the west coast.
Ramírez, who originally auditioned for the role of Ralphie Parker, has the role of Schwartz, one of Ralphie’s best friends.
A big fan of the Christmas movie that follows the misadventures of Ralphie, his friends and family in Indiana, Ramírez is excited about the show.
Doing it live is no big deal for the Virginia native who recently completed a run in the hit Broadway musical ‘School of Rock.’
“I’ve watched it so many times. Every Christmas,” said Ramírez about the original movie. “Once, I watched it on Halloween for some reason. I love the movie. My sister (she’s a sweetheart; she’s 5) loves it too. So does my mom and dad.”
Ramírez’s favorite scene of the movie is when Flick responds to a dare and gets his tongue stuck on a flagpole at school.
“No, I’ve never done that; but I once put my tongue on an ice cub and it was stuck,” he said during a recent telephone interview. “But, it didn’t hurt to get it off.”
The role of Ralphie, who pines for a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, went to Andy Walken.
Ramírez said the two of them are friends.
Three weeks after auditioning for Schwartz, Ramírez got the call with the good news.
“I was super happy. I pretended to be Superman the rest of the day,” he said.
The live production will include songs.
“I am singing. At the beginning, there’s a pop star singing,” said Ramírez. “It is very catchy. It’s a classic. It’s a Christmas tradition.”
Ramírez thinks fans of the original movie will love the live remake.
“I think they’ll like the music,” said Ramírez. “They’ll like to see that but with a twist; with music rather than the regular movie.”
Ramírez, who began acting at age 5 after he got kicked out of piano lessons because he wasn’t reading the music (“Geez, I wasn’t even reading words at that point!”), is also a dancer and singer.
He recently released ‘Heads or Tails,’ a self-produced, original single on YouTube. He plays the guitar.
Ramírez was born at the Air Force base in Langley, Virginia (his mother is in the military). His father owns Soundscapes, a non-profit music organization.
The fifth-grade student wants an acting career, but also wants to play music.
After ‘A Christmas Story Live!,’ Ramírez is looking ahead to meeting his grandparents and “my great-grandma” in east Texas and Arkansas for Christmas.
“I haven’t seen them in like three years,” he said.