By Adam Hetrick
06 Sep 2012
|Photo by Carol Rosegg|
"Yes, the role is truly available and in the same way the original film was cast, this is a bona fide national search. We are in the final two weeks of auditions for the right Ralphie who could be Broadway's next sensation," said Peter Billingsly, who originated the role on film and is also among the musical's producers.
Rehearsals begin Oct. 1 and submissions for the role will be accepted through Sept. 12 at noon.
The creative team is seeking boys ages 10-11, under 4'11" with unchanged voices for the role of Ralphie. According to a casting notice, "They must be comfortable on stage, bright, and real. We are looking for a boy who is a regular kid, with enormous talent."
The melodic tuner, which has a score by Richard Rodgers Award-winning Dogfight songwriters Justin Paul and Benj Pasek, launched a five-city U.S. tour last holiday season and was warmly embraced by critics nationwide. The score includes such songs as "Red Ryder," "Ralphie to the Rescue," "A Major Award" and "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out." Joseph Robinette authored the book.
A Christmas Story will officially open Nov. 19 for a run through Dec. 30.
Much of that original touring creative team will repeat their work for the Broadway run, including Tony-winning director John Rando (Urinetown) and Tony-nominated choreographer Warren Carlyle (Chaplin, Follies, An Evening With Hugh Jackman).
According to producers, "In 1940's Indiana, a bespectacled boy named Ralphie has a big imagination and one wish for Christmas—a Red Ryder BB Gun. A kooky leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a cranky department store Santa, and a triple-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the obstacles that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas dream. A Christmas Story, The Musical! is holiday entertainment that captures a simpler time in America with delicious wit and a heart of gold."