An online casting search has been launched via LetItCast, also enlisted by the producers of the Broadway revival of Funny Girl, which allows young performers from across the country to upload a video audition, headshot and resume at AChristmasStoryTheMusical.com/casting.
Among the roles being cast are Ralphie, whose only Christmas wish is a Red Ryder BB gun. Also being sought are actors to portray Randy, Flick, Schwartz, Scut Farcus, Grover Dill, Mary Beth and Esther Jane.
A Christmas Story will begin rehearsals Oct. 10 in Chicago, prior to 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).
Warren Carlyle, who staged Finian's Rainbow and A Tale of Two Cities on Broadway and choreographed the current Kennedy Center Broadway revival of Follies, will direct and choreograph the production. 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.
Much of the Seattle creative team will return for the tour, including Walt Spangler (scenic design), Elizabeth Hope Clancy (costume design), Larry Blank (orchestrations), Ian Eisendrath (musical direction) and Howell Binkley (lighting design). Dance arrangements are by August Eriksmoen.
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 1940s-set 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.