Rabe, who will be making his Broadway debut in the role, has some history with the musical, having been discovered in Chicago last year when he auditioned for the 2011 national tour of A Christmas Story, The Musical. Too young for the role last year, producers kept an eye on Rabe casting him as one of Ralphie’s classmates. A year later, Rabe once again auditioned, and "knocked the socks off of the creative team," according to a press statement.
At certain performances, Joe West, also making his Broadway debut, will play the role of Ralphie. Producers were so impressed with West’s video submission, he was invited to come to New York where he auditioned for the creative team. West is the son of two-time Daytime Emmy Award winner Maura West (“As The World Turns").
A Christmas Story, The Musical, based on the 1983 movie perennial, will play a Nov. 5-Dec. 30 holiday engagement. Opening night is Nov. 19.
The cast will also include John Bolton as The Old Man, Erin Dilly (Nice Work If You Can Get It, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as Mother, Caroline O'Connor (Chicago, Mack and Mabel, "Moulin Rouge") as school teacher Miss Shields, Eddie Korbich (The Little Mermaid, The Drowsy Chaperone, Wicked) as Santa Claus and Zac Ballard (Oliver! at Irish Rep) as little brother Randy. Dan Lauria, who last appeared in the title role of Lombardi, will portray narrator Jean Shepherd.
A Christmas Story, The Musical has orchestrations by 2011 Tony nominee Larry Blank (Catch Me If You Can, The Drowsy Chaperone, White Christmas), musical supervision by Ian Eisendrath and dance arrangements by Glen Kelly.
Tony-winning director John Rando (Urinetown) and Tony-nominated choreographer Warren Carlyle (Chaplin, Follies, An Evening With Hugh Jackman) helm the production.
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."