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'A Christmas Story' musical heads to Broadway for the holidays

July 31, 2012|By Chris Barton
  • Clarke Hallum portrays Ralphie in a scene from "A Christmas Story: The Musical."
Clarke Hallum portrays Ralphie in a scene from "A Christmas Story:… (Carol Rosegg / Associated…)

Joining the recent cavalcade of shows that hope to ride a lucrative wave of nostalgia, a musical adaptation of "A Christmas Story" will be coming to Broadway this holiday season.

The original 1983 comedy starred a 12-year-old Peter Billingsley as Ralphie, a Depression-era kid obsessed with receiving a new BB gun for Christmas (an official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle, for those who want to get specific), and the film became a holiday classic as a result of repeated showings on basic cable.

"It's like the 'Seinfeld'  of Christmas movies," Billingsley told NPR last winter as the musical was beginning a brief national tour with the hopes of shifting to Broadway. "It's ... mundane — but it's so much of the things we go through around the holiday."

Among the moments that come to mind from the film are a kid getting his tongue stuck to a frozen flagpole, Ralphie's father winning a magnificently tacky "major award" and a number of elaborately funny fantasy sequences, which will now be given a musical expansion under the direction of John Rando ("Urinetown").

"There are so many moments where the movie goes into the child's imagination," Rando said. "And that's why it translates so well into musical theater, because when he fancies himself a great cowboy, it calls for a song."

"A Christmas Story: The Musical" will play the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre from Nov. 5 to Dec. 30.


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