He offers a look at the show's first stop in Hershey, tech rehearsals and opening night.
PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: On the Road With A Christmas Story, The Musical! Star John Bolton
Bolton originated the role of Grady in Broadway's Curtains. He was in the original Broadway companies of Monty Python's Spamalot, Contact and Titanic. Screen work includes a role on "Gossip Girl" and guest starring appearances on "Boardwalk Empire" and "The Good Wife ."
The stage production features a score by Edges and James and the Giant Peach songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and a book by Joseph Robinette. Tony Award winner John Rando (Urinetown) directs the five-city national tour of A Christmas Story, which will play the Hershey Theatre through Nov. 13. It has choreography by Tony Award nominee Warren Carlyle (Follies, Finian's Rainbow, Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway).
The cast is led by Clarke Hallum and John Bolton (Spamalot, Contact, Titanic) as Ralphie and The Old Man, respectively. The two originated the roles when A Christmas Story debuted at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre last year.
Based on the stories of radio humorist Shepherd, the classic holiday story concerns Ralphie Parker, whose holiday wish is a Red Ryder 200 Shot Carbine Action Air Rifle. The 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.
The cast also features Matthew Lewis as little brother Randy, Gene Weygandt (Wicked, Big, Working in Chicago) as Jean Shepherd, Rachel Bay Jones (Women on The Verge…, Hair) as The Mother, Karen Mason (Mamma Mia!, Wonderland, Sunset Boulevard) as school teacher Miss Shields, and Adam Pelty (The Scarlet Pimpernel, Steel Pier) as Santa.
Rounding out the ensemble are John Francis Babbo, Jonathan Burke, Andrew Cristi, Sally Elting, Nick Gaswirth, Nicholas Gonzalez, Casey Gorab, Drea Gordon, Leslie Henstock, Carl Kimbrough, Sean Mcknight, Mara Newbery, Lyn Philistine, Charlie Plummer, Alex Puette, Johnny Rabe, Kayla Rea, J.D. Rodriguez, Emily Rudolph, Jake Bennett Siegfried, Marguerite Willbanks, George Andrew Wolff and Kirsten Wyatt.
A Christmas Story will continue with tour dates scheduled in Tampa, FL (Dec. 6-11 at the Straz Center) and Chicago, IL (Dec. 14-30 at the Chicago Theatre).
The show is produced by Peter Billingsley, the former child actor perhaps best known for creating the role of Ralphie Parker in the holiday film, as well as Gerald Goehring (Frankenstein: The Musical), Roy Miller (West Side Story revival, The Drowsy Chaperone), Michael F. Mitri (Frankenstein: The Musical), Pat Flicker Addiss (Promises, Promises; Spring Awakening), Mariano Tolentino, Louise H. Beard, Michael Filerman, Scott Hart, Timothy Laczynski, Bartner/Jenkins Entertainment, Angela Milonas, Bradford W. Smith.
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 in 2010, with Pasek and Paul attached, for a run at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre.
The production has scenic design by Walt Spangler; costume design by Elizabeth Hope Clancy; lighting design by Tony Award winner Howell Binkley; orchestrations by 2011 Tony nominee Larry Blank; musical supervision by Ian Eisendrath; dance arrangements by Glen Kelly; casting by Stephanie Klapper.