Mason (Mamma Mia!, Sunset Boulevard) will portray school teacher Miss Shields, with Adam Pelty (The Scarlet Pimpernel, Steel Pier) as Santa in the stage musical adaptation of the beloved 1940's-set holiday classic.
Previously reported principal casting includes Clarke Hallum and John Bolton (Spamalot, Contact, Titanic) as Ralphie and The Old Man, respectively (they played the parts at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre last year). Matthew Lewis also returns as little brother Randy. New to the production are Gene Weygandt (Wicked, Big and the recent Working in Chicago) as Jean Shepherd and Rachel Bay Jones (Women on The Verge…, Hair) as The Mother.
The ensemble will feature John Francis Babbo, Jonathan Burke, Andrew Cristi, Sally Elting, Nick Gaswirth, Nicholas Gonzales, Casey Gorab, Drea Gordon, Leslie Henstock, Carl Kimbrough, Sean Mcknight, Mara Newbery, Lyn Philistine, Charlie Plummer, Alex Puette, Johnny Rabe, Kayla Rea, Emily Rudolph, Jake Bennett Siegfried, Marguerite Willbanks, George Andrew Wolff and Kirsten Wyatt.
The show's producers announced Sept. 30 that Tony Award winner John Rando (Urinetown) would assume directorial duties for Tony Award nominee Warren Carlyle (Follies, Finian's Rainbow), who remains the choreographer of A Christmas Story. Carlyle is also at work on Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway.
The holiday musical has a score by Edges and James and the Giant Peach songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and a book by Joseph Robinette. A Christmas Story will launch 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).
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.
A Christmas Story, The Musical! features scenic design by Walt Spangler; costume design by Elizabeth Hope Clancy; lighting design by Tony Award winner Howell Binkley; orchestrations by 2011 Tony nominee Larry Blank; musical supervision by Ian Eisendrath; dance arrangements by Glen Kelly; casting by Stephanie Klapper.
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, who also include 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 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.