A Christmas Story: The Musical

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A Christmas Story
The Musical
A Christmas Story The Musical.jpg
Music Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Lyrics Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Book Joseph Robinette
Basis Film A Christmas Story
Productions 2009 Kansas City, Missouri
2010 Seattle, Washington
2011 National tour
2012 Broadway
2013 National tour

A Christmas Story: The Musical is a musical version of the film A Christmas Story. The musical has music and lyrics written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and the book by Joseph Robinette. The musical takes place in the 1940s in Indiana and focuses on a child named Ralphie, who wants a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas.

Production history[edit]

The musical ran at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Missouri in 2009. The music and lyrics for that version were written by Scott Davenport Richards. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul were hired to re-do the score after the Kansas City engagement.[1]

A Christmas Story: The Musical opened at the 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle, Washington, on December 9, 2010[2] and ran through December 30, 2010. The director was Eric Rosen with choreography by Kelly Devine, and a cast that featured John Bolton and Anne Allgood as The Old Man and Mother.[3] A national tour in 2011 followed, ending at the Chicago Theatre.[4]

The musical opened on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre for a limited run on November 19, 2012 after previews from November 7 and closed on December 30, 2012. The musical was directed by John Rando with choreography by Warren Carlyle. The cast featured Dan Lauria as Jean Shepherd, John Bolton as The Old Man, Caroline O'Connor as Miss Shields, Erin Dilly as Mother, Zac Ballard as Randy, and with Johnny Rabe and Joe West both alternating as lead character Ralphie, played in the 1983 film by Peter Billingsley, one of the show's producers.[5][6] The Broadway producers were Gerald Goehring, Roy Miller, Michael F. Mitri, Pat Flicker Addiss, Peter Billingsley, Timothy Laczynski, Mariano Tolentino, Jr., Louise H. Beard, Michael Filerman, Scott Hart, Alison Eckert, Bob Bartner, Michael Jenkins, Angela Milonas and Bradford W. Smith.

The musical ran during the 2013 season in Boston (Wang Theatre), San Antonio, Texas (Woodlawn Theatre) and Hartford, Connecticut (Bushnell Theatre).[7] The production later returned to New York for a limited engagement at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden, that ran from December 11, 2013 to December 29, 2013. The leading principals, included Dan Lauria, John Bolton, Erin Dilly and Caroline O'Conner reprising their roles. The character of "Ralphie" was played by Jake Lucas with Eli Tokash at some performances. The role of 'Randy' was played by Noah Baird. [8]

Musical numbers[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The reviewer of the Seattle production wrote:

Just about every nostalgic, humorous vignette, celebrating a kind of quirky childhood innocence enshrined in America's past, gets an up-tempo romp in the polished, very busy score.... performed with vigor by an admirable cast of 33.... But overall, 'A Christmas Story' looks spiffy, with Walt Spangler's snow-cave design brightened by giant Christmas packages and trees and Howell Binkley's twinkly-tastic lighting. If it's too long a haul, there's a lot here to please kids.[9]

Charles Isherwood, in his review of the Broadway production for The New York Times, wrote:

the stage version lightens up a little on the cute, smart-alecky asides ... making room for the music and allowing the story mostly to speak for itself.... Mr. Pasek and Mr. Paul have provided a likable, perky score that duly translates all of the major episodes in the story into appropriate musical numbers.[10]

Nominated awards[edit]

The production received two Outer Critics Circle Award nominations but did not win: Outstanding New Broadway Musical and Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Lauria).[11]

The musical earned six Drama Desk Award nominations (58th Drama Desk Awards).[12] as well as three Tony Award nominations (Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre) for the 67th Tony Awards,[13] however it did not win any.

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2013 Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding New Broadway Musical Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Dan Lauria Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Musical Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical John Bolton Nominated
Outstanding Choreography Warren Carlyle Nominated
Outstanding Music Benj Pasek and Justin Paul Nominated
Outstanding Book of a Musical Joseph Robinette Nominated
Outstanding Orchestrations Larry Blank Nominated
Tony Award
(67th)
Best Musical Nominated
Best Book of a Musical Joseph Robinette Nominated
Best Original Score Benj Pasek and Justin Paul Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Piepenburg, Erik. "That Wish for a BB Gun, Set to Song and Dance" New York Times, December 5, 2011
  2. ^ "5th Avenue Theatre Presents 'A Christmas Story'". Broadwayworld.com, November 9, 2010
  3. ^ Bacalzo, Dan. "Anne Allgood, John Bolton, Clarke Hallum, Orville Mendoza, et al. Set for 5th Avenue Theatre's 'A Christmas Story: The Musical!'" at theatermania.com, October 19, 2012
  4. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "John Rando Will Direct 'Christmas Story' Tour; John Bolton, Gene Weygandt, Rachel Bay Jones Star" playbill.com, September 30, 2011
  5. ^ Oxfeld, Jesse.Review of A Christmas Story: The Musical, The Observer, November 19, 2012.
  6. ^ Listing playbillvault.com, accessed May 2, 2013
  7. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "'A Christmas Story, The Musical' Will Return for 2013 Holiday Season" playbill.com, April 10, 2013
  8. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "'A Christmas Story, The Musical' Ends New York City Return Engagement Dec. 29" playbill.com, December 29, 2013
  9. ^ Berson, Misha. Review: Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre stages a twinkly, funny 'A Christmas Story'" The Seattle Times, December 16, 2010.
  10. ^ Isherwood, Charles. Charles Isherwood review of A Christmas Story, the Musical, New York Times, November 19, 2012.
  11. ^ Gans, Andrew (13 May 2013). "Pippin Is Big Winner of 2012-13 Outer Critics Circle Awards". Playbill. Retrieved May 13, 2013. 
  12. ^ Hetrick, Adam (20 May 2013). "Billy Porter, Andrea Martin, Pippin, Matilda, Vanya and Sonia Win Drama Desk Awards". Playbill. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  13. ^ Purcell, Carey (9 June 2013). "Kinky Boots, Vanya and Sonia, Pippin and Virginia Woolf? Are Big Winners at 67th Annual Tony Awards". Playbill. Retrieved 2013-06-10. 

External links[edit]