By Adam Hetrick
30 Dec 2012
|Photo by Carol Rosegg|
Tony-winning director John Rando (Urinetown) and Tony-nominated choreographer Warren Carlyle (Chaplin, Follies, An Evening With Hugh Jackman) staged the production that began previews Nov. 7 and opened to warm critical notices Nov. 19.
Richard Rodgers Award-winning Dogfight songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul penned the score to the musical that captures the dysfunction and joy of a 1940's American holiday. Joseph Robinette authored the book.
A Christmas Story also broke box-office records at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, raking in $1,491,488 in the week leading up to Christmas. The previous record holder was The Addams Family, which grossed $1,456,119 during the final week of December 2011.
Young actor Johnny Rabe makes his Broadway debut in the central role of Ralphie, the youngster who pines away for an "Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!" Peter Billingsley, who originated the role in the 1983 film, is among the producers of the musical. At certain performances, Joe West played the role of Ralphie.
The cast also features Dan Lauria (Lombardi, "The Wonder Years") as Jean Shepherd, with John Bolton (Spamalot, Contact, Titanic) as The Old Man, Tony Award nominee Erin Dilly (Nice Work if You Can Get It, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as Mother, Zac Ballard as little brother Randy, Caroline O'Connor (Chicago, "Moulin Rouge") as school teacher Miss Shields and Eddie Korbich (The Little Mermaid, The Drowsy Chaperone, Wicked) as Santa Claus.
|photo by Carol Rosegg|
The ensemble features Tia Altinay, John Babbo, Charissa Bertels, Grace Capeless, Zoe Considine, Andrew Cristi, Mathew deGuzman, Thay Floyd, George Franklin, Nick Gaswirth, Mark Ledbetter, Jose Luaces, Jack Mastrianni, Mara Newbery, Lindsay O'Neil, Sarah Min-Kyung Park, J.D. Rodriguez, Analise Scarpaci, Lara Seibert, Jeremy Shinder, Luke Spring, Beatrice Tulchin and Kirsten Wyatt.
Two bloodhounds named Pete and Lily wreak havoc and snag a turkey as the "Bumpus Hounds," the pooches who take part in the infamous scene in the Christmas-set classic, where a holiday dinner is interrupted when they run off with the family's turkey dinner.
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."
The production had scenic design by Walt Spangler; costume design by Elizabeth Hope Clancy; lighting design by Tony Award winner Howell Binkley; sound design by Ken Travis; wig design by Tom Watson; orchestrations by 2011 Tony nominee Larry Blank; musical supervision by Ian Eisendrath; dance arrangements by Glen Kelly; and vocal arrangements by composer Justin Paul.
The musical was produced by Gerald Goehring, Roy Miller, Michael F. Mitri, Pat Flicker Addiss, Peter Billingsley, Timothy Laczynski, Mariano Tolentino, Louise H. Beard, Michael Filerman, Scott Hart, Alison Eckert, Bob Bartner, Michael Jenkins, Angela Milonas and Bradford W. Smith.