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 A Christmas Story
by Jean Shepherd
Leigh Brown
Bob Clark
Productions 2009 Kansas City, Missouri
2010 Seattle, Washington
2011 National tour
2012 Broadway
2013 National tour
2017 Live television

A Christmas Story: The Musical is a musical version of the film A Christmas Story. The musical has music and lyrics written by Pasek & 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.

After numerous regional productions, out of town tryouts and national tours, this version of the musical originally officially opened on Broadway in November 2012 at the Lunt Fontanne Theatre for a limited engagement that ran through December 2012.

Production history[edit]

The musical premiered at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Missouri in December 2009. The music and lyrics for that version were written by Scott Davenport Richards; the musical was directed by Eric Rosen with the book by Joseph Robinette, and featured John Bolton as "The Old Man" and Anne L. Nathan as Mother.[1] Zachary Sayle appeared as Ralphie Parker and Jake Siegfried as younger brother, Randy Parker. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul were hired to re-do the score after the Kansas City engagement.[2]

A Christmas Story: The Musical opened at the 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle, Washington, on December 9, 2010[3] 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.[4] A national tour in 2011 followed, ending at the Chicago Theatre.[5]

New York City[edit]

The musical had a limited run in Manhattan in 2012 and 2013. It opened on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on November 19, 2012 (after previews beginning 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.[6][7] 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 production returned to New York for a limited engagement at The Theater at Madison Square Garden that ran from December 11, 2013 to December 29, 2013. The 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]

National Tour[edit]

A seasonal national tour of the show has run yearly since 2014. Directed by Matt Lenz the tour is based on the original staging by John Rando with choreography by Warren Carlyle. Sets are by Michael Carnahan, Lighting design by Charlie Morrison and Costumes by Lisa Zinni.

Regional productions[edit]

The musical has had several regional productions, including the more recent productions running at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia and at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey, both productions running from November 2015 through January 2016.[9][10]

The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle had once served as a regional venue for the musical, hosting it from November to December 2014.[11] Additionally, the musical ran during the 2013 season in at the Wang Theatre in Boston, the Woodlawn Theatre in San Antonio, Texas and the Bushnell Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut. [12]

European Premiere[edit]

A Christmas Story will receive it's European Premiere at the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester, England from 26th October 2018.

Characters[edit]

  • Ralphie: A little boy who wants a Red Ryder Carbine Action Range Model Air Rifle with a compass in the stock and a thing that tells time.
  • Jean Sheperd: Old Ralphie who tells the story.
  • The Old Man: The gruff father of Ralphie.
  • Mother: The glue who holds the family together.
  • Randy: Ralphie's kid brother. Sweet and annoying.
  • Miss Shields: Ralphie's teacher.
  • Schwartz: Ralphie's foul mouthed friend.
  • Flick: Ralphie's dim friend who sticks his tongue on a flag pole.
  • Scut Farkus: The class bully who gets beaten up by Ralphie.
  • Grover Dill: Scut's right hand man.
  • Esther Jane: Ralphie's love interest.
  • Mary Beth: Esther Jane's best friend.
  • Santa: A mean old mall Santa.

Musical numbers[edit]

Act 1
  • "Overture" - Orchestra
  • "It All Comes Down to Christmas" - Ralphie, the Parkers, and Ensemble
  • "Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun" - Ralphie and Jean
  • "It All Comes Down to Christmas (Reprise)" - Ralphie and Company
  • "The Genius on Cleveland Street" - The Old Man and Mother
  • "When You're a Wimp" - Kids
  • "Ralphie to the Rescue!" - Ralphie, Miss Shields, the Old Man, Mother, Randy, and Ensemble
  • "What a Mother Does" - Mother
  • "A Major Award" - The Old Man, Mother, and Neighbors
  • "Parker Family Singalong" - The Parkers
  • "Act One Finale" - Ralphie and Ensemble
Act 2
  • "Entr’acte" - Orchestra
  • "Sticky Situation" - Ralphie, Flick, Schwartz, Kids, Miss Shields, Nurse, Flick's Mom, Fireman, Policeman, and Doctor
  • "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out" - Miss Shields and Kids
  • "Just Like That" - Mother
  • "At Higbee's" - Elves
  • "Up on Santa's Lap" - Santa, Elves, Ralphie, Randy, and Kids
  • "Before the Old Man Comes Home" - The Parkers
  • "Somewhere Hovering Over Indiana" - Ralphie, Randy, and Kids
  • "Ralphie to the Rescue! (Reprise)" - Ralphie and Ensemble
  • "A Christmas Story" - The Parkers and Full Company

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.[13]

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

[T]he 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.[14]

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).[15]

The musical received six Drama Desk Award nominations (58th Drama Desk Awards).[16] 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,[17] 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 Pasek & 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 Pasek & Paul Nominated

TV special[edit]

In May 2017, the Fox Broadcasting Company announced that it will air a live television event based on the Broadway musical version titled A Christmas Story Live!, with Pasek and Paul composing several new songs for the live television musical. The live musical was televised on December 17, 2017, with the cast that starred Maya Rudolph as Ralphie's mother,[18] Matthew Broderick as The Narrator/Older Ralphie,[19] 11-year-old Andy Walken in the lead role of Ralphie Parker, Jane Krakowski as Miss Shields, Chris Diamantopoulos as Ralphie's father,[20] and Ana Gasteyer as Mrs. Schwartz, the mother of one of Ralphie's friends.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Siraguso, Frank. "'A Christmas Story, the Musical!' at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Review" infozine.com, December 6, 2009
  2. ^ Piepenburg, Erik. "That Wish for a BB Gun, Set to Song and Dance" New York Times, December 5, 2011
  3. ^ "5th Avenue Theatre Presents 'A Christmas Story'". Broadwayworld.com, November 9, 2010
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "John Rando Will Direct 'Christmas Story' Tour; John Bolton, Gene Weygandt, Rachel Bay Jones Star" Archived 2013-06-05 at the Wayback Machine. playbill.com, September 30, 2011
  6. ^ Oxfeld, Jesse.Review of A Christmas Story: The Musical, The Observer, November 19, 2012.
  7. ^ Listing playbillvault.com, accessed May 2, 2013
  8. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "'A Christmas Story, The Musical' Ends New York City Return Engagement Dec. 29" Playbill, December 29, 2013
  9. ^ "'A Christmas Story the Musical' Listing" walnutstreettheatre.org, accessed October 18, 2015
  10. ^ "Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn announces groundbreaking lineup for 2015-16 season" NJ.com, accessed February 24, 2015
  11. ^ "Press Release. A Christmas Story, the Musical" 5thavenue.org, October 28, 2014
  12. ^ name=adam Hetrick, Adam. "'A Christmas Story, The Musical' Will Return for 2013 Holiday Season" Archived May 7, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Playbill, April 10, 2013
  13. ^ Berson, Misha. Review: Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre stages a twinkly, funny 'A Christmas Story'" The Seattle Times, December 16, 2010.
  14. ^ Isherwood, Charles. Charles Isherwood review of A Christmas Story, the Musical, New York Times, November 19, 2012
  15. ^ Gans, Andrew (13 May 2013). "Pippin Is Big Winner of 2012-13 Outer Critics Circle Awards". Playbill. Archived from the original on 22 December 2013. Retrieved May 13, 2013. 
  16. ^ Hetrick, Adam (20 May 2013). "Billy Porter, Andrea Martin, Pippin, Matilda, Vanya and Sonia Win Drama Desk Awards". Playbill. Archived from the original on 5 June 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  17. ^ Purcell, Carey (9 June 2013). "Kinky Boots, Vanya and Sonia, Pippin and Virginia Woolf? Are Big Winners at 67th Annual Tony Awards". Playbill. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-10. 
  18. ^ "'A Christmas Story' Live Musical Set at Fox". Variety. 12 May 2017. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  19. ^ McPhee, Ryan. "Matthew Broderick Joins Cast of Fox’s 'A Christmas Story Live!' " Playbill, September 21, 2017
  20. ^ McPee, Ryan. "Jane Krakowski and Chris Diamantopoulos Join Fox’s 'A Christmas Story Live!' " Playbill, October 18, 2017

External links[edit]