A Christmas Story: The Musical is a musical version of the film A Christmas Story. The musical has music and lyrics written by Pasek & Paul and the book by Joseph Robinette. The musical takes place in the 1940s in Indiana and focuses on a child named Ralphie, who wants a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas.
After numerous regional productions, out of town tryouts and national tours, this version of the musical originally officially opened on Broadway in November 2012 at the Lunt Fontanne Theatre for a limited engagement that ran through December 2012.
The musical premiered at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Missouri in December 2009. The music and lyrics for that version were written by Scott Davenport Richards; the musical was directed by Eric Rosen with the book by Joseph Robinette, and featured John Bolton as "The Old Man" and Anne L. Nathan as Mother. Zachary Sayle appeared as Ralphie Parker and Jake Siegfried as younger brother, Randy Parker. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul were hired to re-do the score after the Kansas City engagement.
A Christmas Story: The Musical opened at the 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle, Washington, on December 9, 2010 and ran through December 30, 2010. The director was Eric Rosen with choreography by Kelly Devine, and a cast that featured John Bolton and Anne Allgood as The Old Man and Mother. A national tour in 2011 followed, ending at the Chicago Theatre.
New York City
The musical had a limited run in Manhattan in 2012 and 2013. It opened on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on November 19, 2012 (after previews beginning November 7), and closed on December 30, 2012. The musical was directed by John Rando with choreography by Warren Carlyle. The cast featured Dan Lauria as Jean Shepherd, John Bolton as The Old Man, Caroline O'Connor as Miss Shields, Erin Dilly as Mother, Zac Ballard as Randy, and with Johnny Rabe and Joe West both alternating as lead character Ralphie, played in the 1983 film by Peter Billingsley, one of the show's producers. The Broadway producers were Gerald Goehring, Roy Miller, Michael F. Mitri, Pat Flicker Addiss, Peter Billingsley, Timothy Laczynski, Mariano Tolentino, Jr., Louise H. Beard, Michael Filerman, Scott Hart, Alison Eckert, Bob Bartner, Michael Jenkins, Angela Milonas and Bradford W. Smith.
The production returned to New York for a limited engagement at The Theater at Madison Square Garden that ran from December 11, 2013 to December 29, 2013. The principals included Dan Lauria, John Bolton, Erin Dilly and Caroline O'Conner reprising their roles. The character of "Ralphie" was played by Jake Lucas with Eli Tokash at some performances. The role of 'Randy' was played by Noah Baird.
A seasonal national tour of the show has run yearly since 2014. Directed by Matt Lenz the tour is based on the original staging by John Rando with choreography by Warren Carlyle. Sets are by Michael Carnahan, Lighting design by Charlie Morrison and Costumes by Lisa Zinni.
Ralphie: A little boy who wants a Red Ryder Carbine Action Range Model Air Rifle with a compass in the stock and a thing that tells time.
Jean Sheperd: Old Ralphie who tells the story.
The Old Man: The gruff father of Ralphie.
Mother: The glue who holds the dysfunctional family together.
Randy: Ralphie's kid brother. Sweet and annoying.
Miss Shields: Ralphie's teacher.
Schwartz: Ralphie's foul mouthed friend.
Flick: Ralphie's dim friend who sticks his tongue on a flag pole.
Scut Farkus: The class bully who gets beaten up by Ralphie.
Grover Dill: Scut's right hand man.
Esther Jane: Ralphie's love interest.
Mary Beth: Esther Jane's best friend.
Santa: A mean old mall Santa.
"Overture" - Orchestra
"It All Comes Down to Christmas" - Ralphie, The Parkers and Ensemble
"Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun" - Ralphie and Jean
"It All Comes Down to Christmas (Reprise)" - Ralphie and Company
"The Genius on Cleveland Street" - The Old Man and Mother
"When You're a Wimp" - Kids
"Ralphie to the Rescue" - Ralphie, Miss Shields, The Parkers and Ensemble
"What a Mother Does" - Mother
"A Major Award" - The Old Man, Mother and Neighbors
"Parker Family Singalong" - The Parkers
"Act One Finale" - Ralphie and Ensemble
"Entr' Act" - Orchestra
"Sticky Situation" - Kids, Miss Shields, Nurse, Flick's Mom, Fireman, Policeman and Doctor
"You'll Shoot Your Eye Out" - Miss Shields and Kids
"Just Like That" - Mother
"At Higbee's" - Elves
"Up on Santa's Lap" - Santa, Elves, Ralphie, Randy and Kids
"Before the Old Man Comes Home" - The Parkers
"Somewhere Hovering Over Indiana" - Ralphie, Randy and Kids
"Ralphie to the Rescue (Reprise)" - Ralphie and Ensemble
"A Christmas Story" - The Parkers and Full Company
The reviewer of the Seattle production wrote:
Just about every nostalgic, humorous vignette, celebrating a kind of quirky childhood innocence enshrined in America's past, gets an up-tempo romp in the polished, very busy score.... performed with vigor by an admirable cast of 33.... But overall, 'A Christmas Story' looks spiffy, with Walt Spangler's snow-cave design brightened by giant Christmas packages and trees and Howell Binkley's twinkly-tastic lighting. If it's too long a haul, there's a lot here to please kids.
the stage version lightens up a little on the cute, smart-alecky asides ... making room for the music and allowing the story mostly to speak for itself.... Mr. Pasek and Mr. Paul have provided a likable, perky score that duly translates all of the major episodes in the story into appropriate musical numbers.
The production received two Outer Critics Circle Award nominations but did not win: Outstanding New Broadway Musical and Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Lauria).
The musical received six Drama Desk Award nominations (58th Drama Desk Awards). as well as three Tony Award nominations (Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre) for the 67th Tony Awards, however it did not win any.
In May 2017 Fox announced that it will air a Live television event based on the Broadway musical version on December 17, 2017 with Pasek and Paul composing several new songs for the live television event. Maya Rudolph will play Ralphie's mother.