EXCLUSIVE: Richards Departs A Christmas Story, The Musical!; New Composer Sought for Seattle Bow

News   EXCLUSIVE: Richards Departs A Christmas Story, The Musical!; New Composer Sought for Seattle Bow The stage musical adaptation of the 1983 MGM film A Christmas Story, The Musical!, which premiered in an extended run at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre in 2009, will sing a new tune when the production arrives at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre in November.
Zachary Carter Sayle in A Christmas Story, The Musical! at KC Rep
Zachary Carter Sayle in A Christmas Story, The Musical! at KC Rep Photo by Don Ipock

Representatives for the 5th Avenue told Playbill.com that Scott Davenport Richards, who wrote the music and lyrics for the Kansas City production, is no longer with the show. Producers are currently in negotiations with a new creative team for the Seattle bow. The Kansas City run had been billed as a pre-Broadway engagement, with a 2010 New York debut the goal.

Director Eric Rosen (Clay, Venice) and choreographer Kelly Devine (Rock of Ages), who staged the world premiere, will continue their work with the production that has a libretto by Joseph Robinette. A Christmas Story, The Musical! will run Nov. 30-Dec. 19.

Richards is the son of Tony Award-winning director Lloyd Richards (Fences, A Raisin in the Sun) and has appeared on Broadway in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and penned A Thousand Words Come to Mind, A Star Across the Ocean and Dance of the Holy Ghosts, which premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 2006.

Richards' songs for A Christmas Story included "Getting Ready for Christmas," "Take That!," "I Won (A Major Award)," "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!," "Ho, Ho, Ho!," "I'm Awake," "On Christmas, We Go Eat Chinese" and "There Must Be Something We've Forgotten."

The world-premiere tryout was produced by Grammy nominee Gerald Goehring and Michael F. Mitri, both of whom produced Frankenstein Off-Broadway, as well as Robert G. Bartner and Michael A. Jenkins of Bartner/Jenkins Entertainment (Guys and Dolls, Boeing-Boeing on Broadway). Bartner is also the producer of Broadway's Memphis, Superior Donuts and the London productions of La Cage aux Folles and Legally Blonde. Based on the stories of radio humorist Jean Shepherd, the classic holiday story follows 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.

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