An open audition will take place June 27 in Chicago from 10 AM-2 PM at the Chicago Theatre Downstairs. One of the roles open is the central character of Ralphie, who longs for a Red Ryder BB gun. Also being sought are young actors to play Randy, Flick, Schwartz, Scut Farcus, Grover Dill, Mary Beth and Jane.
The production team is seeking actors ages 8-13 and no taller than 4'11". They request that performers come prepared with a brief, rhythmic, classic Broadway song that shows off voice and personality.
A Christmas Story will begin rehearsals Oct. 10 in Chicago, prior to a five-city tour launch in Hershey, PA, Nov. 8-13 at the Hershey Theatre; followed by Detroit, MI (Nov. 15-27 at the Fisher Theatre); Raleigh, NC (Nov. 29-Dec. 4 at the Memorial Auditorium); Tampa, FL (Dec. 6-11 at the Straz Center); and Chicago, IL (Dec. 14-30 at the Chicago Theatre).
Peter Billingsley, the former child actor who portrayed Ralphie Parker in the iconic film "A Christmas Story," is among the lead producers of the musical that has a score by Edges songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and a book by Joseph Robinette.
Warren Carlyle, who staged Finian's Rainbow and A Tale of Two Cities on Broadway and choreographed the current Kennedy Center revival of Follies, will direct and choreograph the production. A Christmas Story, The Musical! debuted in an earlier incarnation in 2009 at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. That production had a score by Scott Davenport Richards. It resurfaced last holiday season, with Pasek and Paul attached, for a run at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre.
Much of the Seattle creative team will return for the tour, including Walt Spangler (scenic design), Elizabeth Hope Clancy (costume design), Larry Blank (orchestrations), Ian Eisendrath (musical direction) and Howell Binkley (lighting design). Dance arrangements are by August Eriksmoen.
The producing team also includes Gerald Goehring (Frankenstein: The Musical), Michael Mitri (Frankenstein: The Musical), Pat Addiss (Promises, Promises; Spring Awakening), Louise Beard, Richard Winkler, Mariano Tolentino, Dan Frishwasser, Tim Laczynski, Bartner/Jenkins Entertainment, Angela Milonas and Bradford W. Smith.
Based on the stories of radio humorist Jean Shepherd, the classic holiday story concerns Ralphie Parker, whose holiday wish is a Red Ryder 200 Shot Carbine Action Air Rifle. The 1940s-set comedy follows Ralphie through his holiday campaign for the gift of his dreams, complete with a visit to Santa at Higbee's Department Store, a racy lamp, the family's exploding furnace, an experiment with a wet tongue on a cold lamppost and more.