Read What Critics Thought of Fox's A Christmas Story Live! | Playbill

The Verdict Read What Critics Thought of Fox's A Christmas Story Live! The three-hour musical event, featuring a score by Tony and Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, aired December 17.
Maya Rudolph, Andy Walkin, Tyler Wladis, and Chris Diamantopoulos Jordin Althaus/ FOX

A Christmas Story Live!, inspired by the classic holiday film and the Tony-nominated Broadway musical, aired December 17 on Fox.

Tony winner Matthew Broderick, as the grown-up Ralphie, served as narrator for the three-hour event, and 11-year-old newcomer Andy Walken played the central role of Ralphie. Tony winner Jane Krakowski was Ralphie’s teacher Miss Shields, with Waitress alum Chris Diamantopoulos and SNL veteran Maya Rudolph as Ralphie’s parents. Wicked and SNL alum Ana Gasteyer played Mrs. Schwartz, the mother of one of Ralphie’s friends.

Read reviews below:

AV Club (Caroline Siede)

Deadline (Jeremy Gerard)

Entertainment Weekly (Darren Franich)

The Hollywood Reporter (David Rooney)

Los Angeles Times (Robert Lloyd)

New York Magazine/Vulture (Jen Chaney, Jackson McHenry, Tara Abell)

TV Line (Andy Swift)

USA Today (Kelly Lawler)

Variety (Sonia Saraiya)

The Washington Post (Hank Stuever)

The cast also included multiple Tony nominee David Alan Grier as Santa Claus, TV and film star Ken Jeong as a Christmas tree salesman and a restaurant owner, and the a cappella PRETTYMUCH as the Hohman Indiana carolers.

Singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha opened the live presentation with a performance of the new song “Count on Christmas,” written specifically for the live musical event by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Tony Award winners for Dear Evan Hansen.


A Christmas Story Live!, which blended the score Pasek and Paul penned for the Broadway musical adaption with new material, was produced by Warner Horizon Unscripted and Alternative Television. Marc Platt and Adam Siegel executive-produced, with Jonathan Tolins and Robert Cary serving as co-executive producers and writers.

Scott Ellis oversaw the stage direction, while fellow executive producer Alex Rudzinski served as live television director.

The new Arts Music division of Warner Music Group releases the Original Soundtrack Recording of A Christmas Story Live! December 18.

Fox also has a live adaptation of Jonathan Larson's Tony- and Pulitzer-winning Rent in the pipeline; the musical is set to air in early 2019.

Check Out the Latest Photos of Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer, and More in A Christmas Story Live

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