"A Christmas Story," a Cherished Movie Comedy, Will Be a Stage Musical

By Kenneth Jones
28 Mar 2008

Peter Billingsley in "A Christmas Story," the movie.
Peter Billingsley in "A Christmas Story," the movie.
Photo by Turner Entertainment Co.

"A Christmas Story," the beloved 1983 movie comedy about holiday hopes in a Midwest American setting in the mid-20th century, is being developed into a traditional stage musical by producers Gerald Goehring and Douglas C. Evans.

Goehring and Evans were behind Off-Broadway's recent Frankenstein, the pop-rock musical, which will start its licensing life in the coming year, and is being developed for a tour in 2009. They told Playbill.com that they've been in discussions with theatres to get a production of their musical, A Christmas Story, on its feet as early as the holiday season of 2008.

The project's collaborators a lyricist, a librettist and a composer will be announced shortly. The producers said the script and score can be delivered in five months, in time for rehearsals.

Goehring and Evans exclusively optioned the musical rights for a first-class, large-cast musical from the Dramatic Publishing Company, Inc.

A Christmas Story already exists as a non-musical stage show that has been popular in regional markets.



The musical will be based upon the motion picture, "A Christmas Story," which was produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Turner Entertainment Co. and is currently distributed by Warner Bros. The movie was written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and (director) Bob Clark, and was based on "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash," a novel by late humorist Shepherd (1921-99), who narrated the movie.

The producers characterize the musical project this way: "A Christmas Story is a whimsical, slightly-twisted and beloved tribute to an all-American, nostalgic view of Christmastime. Set in Indiana during the 1940s, a young Ralphie dreams of his ideal gift for Christmas and is waging an all-out campaign to convince his reluctant parents. Ralphie mounts a full-scale, hint-dropping, Santa-begging campaign. He also endures all kids of childhood calamities from his brother's snowsuit paralysis to the yellow-eyed Scotty Farkus affair to the dreaded tongue-on-a-frozen-flagpole stunt. A triple-dog-dare Christmas classic for the American stage."

Young, blond, bespectacled actor Peter Billingsley memorably played little Ralphie in the film. His fondest wish? Ralphie wanted a Red Ryder BB gun.

For more information, visit www.AChristmasStorytheMusical.com.