Another movie turned musical hits the boards of Broadway! This time, the family film favorite, A Christmas Story, recounts the tale of young Ralphie Parker who wants a special Christmas present and will do just about anything to get it.
Written by the music team of Pasek and Paul, A Christmas Story, The Musical brings to life the popular 1983 Warner Brothers film of the same name, that is probably most famous for its stocking-leg table lamp and the scene in which "Ralphie" sticks his tongue to a frozen flagpole in the middle of winter. This is the first Broadway production for Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who won won the 2007 Larson Award and the 2011 Richard Rodgers Award.
The stage adaptation stays true to the film and preserves the most famous "schtick" including "Ralphie Parker's" glasses, a quirky leg-in-a-stocking lamp, ridiculous pink bunny rabbit pajamas, plus the grouchy department store Santa Claus, and the stunt that still lives in infamy -- the triple dog dare for "Ralphie" to lick a flagpole. And all "Ralphie" really wants is a BB gun for Christmas.
This Broadway production is produced by Peter Billingsley, who played young "Ralphie Parker" in the 1983 film.
Playing at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, this original Broadway production of A Christmas Story, the Musical, began Previews on November 7, 2012, and held its official Opening Night on November 19, 2012. This show was set to run through the 2012 holiday season only, with a closing date of December 30th.
Starring as "Ralphie" is Johnny Rabe. Playing "Jean Shepherd," the author on whose book the story is based, is Dan Lauria who won acclaim in the Tony-nominated Broadway production of Lombardi and is probably best known to television audiences from "Sullivan & Son" and "The Wonder Years." John Bolton, of Broadway's Spamalot, Contact, and Titanic plays "The Old Man" with Tony Award nominee Erin Dilly of Nice Work if You Can Get It and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang playing "Mother." Zac Ballard appears as little brother "Randy," Caroline O’Connor of Chicago and Moulin Rouge as the school teacher "Miss Shields," with Eddie Korbich of Broadway's The Little Mermaid, the Tony-winning The Drowsy Chaperone, and Wicked portraying the grand old grumpy elf, "Santa Claus." Alternating in the role of "Ralphie," Joe West will play the role at certain performances.
The ensemble cast features Tia Altinay, John Babbo, Charissa Bertels, Grace Capeless, Zoe Considine, Andrew Cristi, Mathew deGuzman, Thay Floyd, George Franklin, Nick Gaswirth, Mark Ledbetter, Jose Luaces, Jack Mastrianni, Mara Newbery, Lindsay O’Neil, Sarah Min-Kyung Park, J.D. Rodriguez, Analise Scarpaci, Lara Seibert, Jeremy Shinder, Luke Spring, Beatrice Tulchin, and Kirsten Wyatt. Pete and Lily appear as the Bumpus Hounds.
The creative team includes bookwriter Joseph Robinette, with the show being helmed by John Rando who won the 2002 Best Director Tony Award for Urinetown. Choreography is by Warren Carlyle, who worked on the hit new show Chaplin, the revival of Follies, and the special event Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway.
A Christmas Story, the Musical also boasts considerable talent behind the scenes. Scenic Design is led by Walt Spangler, Costume Design by Elizabeth Hope Clancy, Lighting design by Tony Award-winner Howell Binkley, Sound Design by Ken Travis, Wig Design by Tom Watson, and animal training by William Berloni, a 2011 Tony Honor recipient for "Excellence in Theatre." Music Orchestrations are by Tony Award nominee Larry Blank with Music Direction and Supervision by Ian Eisendrath. Dance Music arrangements are by Glen Kelly, and James Gray assisted as the Associate Choreographer.
Sony Masterworks Broadway released a studio-recorded cast album of A Christmas Story, the Musical just in time for the Broadway premiere production. On the album, Broadway favorites Tom Wopat, Liz Callaway, Clarke Hallum, and John Bolton are heard. Music publisher Hal Leonard published a vocal selections songbook to coincide with the cast album release.