Youth returns to Beef & Boards

Allen performs in A Christmas Story: The Musical


INDIANAPOLIS — This holiday season — for the second year in a row — Emery Allen’s wish came true: She has been cast in the Christmas production at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre.

The 12-year-old Crawfordsville girl is in the ensemble of A Christmas Story: The Musical — the Tony Award-nominated stage version of the popular film.

“It’s a holiday classic,” Allen said. “We watch it every year. I also love that the story is based in Indiana!”

Set in the 1940s in the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana, the musical follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker and his quest for the Holy Grail of Christmas gifts — an Official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. Rebuffed at every turn with a similar echoing response, Ralphie plots numerous schemes to achieve his desperate desire for the coveted BB gun.

“I was very excited to perform in A Christmas Story: The Musical because it has a lot of dancing and singing in it,” Emery said. “It’s a lot of fun to perform at Beef and Boards during the holiday season and I am so grateful for this opportunity!”

Last Christmas, Emery performed in Elf, The Musical at Beef & Boards. But she made her debut on the dinner theatre’s stage at the age of 9 as Young Fiona and Baby Bear in another movie-turned-musical, Shrek, The Musical.

“I have performed on several different stages,” the South Montgomery Middle School sixth-grader said, adding, “I have been in over 15 plays/musicals. I love that I can share my passion and it makes other people happy.”

Among her other regional favorites are the title role in Annie at Putnam County Playhouse, and Gretl in Sound of Music/Those Were the Days at the Vanity Theater.

With such a healthy resume at such a young age, it’s not surprising that Allen is considering a performing career. But she has other goals as well.

“I have been going to New York recently and have been fortunate to meet and work with some amazing people in the entertainment industry,” she said. “There is nothing I love more than being on the stage or behind a camera.”

“I would love to be an entertainer, but also plan on getting a law degree.”

When she’s not on stage, Allen likes to work in the recording studio.

“I play piano and am learning guitar,” she said, adding, “I also love playing golf with my brothers Nolan and Dawson.”

Emery is the daughter of Brandon and Stephanie (Rusk) Allen, Crawfordsville.

A Christmas Story: The Musical is rated PG and is on stage for 44 performances through Dec. 31. The final performance is a New Year’s Eve celebration that includes dancing to live music after the show and a champagne toast at midnight followed by a breakfast buffet.

Tickets range from $45 to $70 ($89 for all seats for the New Year’s Eve Celebration), and include Chef Odell Ward’s holiday buffet, fruit and salad bar, unlimited coffee, tea and lemonade.

For reservations, visit or call the box office at 317-872-9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays.

For complete show schedule, visit


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