Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Christmas Story The Musical: Interview With The Director & Major Award Song

We're wrapping up our big count down to The Chicago Theatre opening of A Christmas Story the Musical with our interview with Tony Award winning Director, John Rando.   We had a blast talking with him, since worked on Urinetown, with our friends, playwright, Greg Kotis (and his wife, author & illustrator, Ayun Halliday--Chi Town theatre folk from TMLMTBGB, back in the day.)    John was happy to expound on A Christmas Story the Musical for us.   He is also the father of a 10 year old son, so he got in on our long running "How Creatives Parent and How Parents Create" line of questioning as well.

Lastly, we bring you one of our all time favorite song/dance numbers from the rehearsals--Major Award (or the leg lamp dance).   We are beyond stoked to see it live, tomorrow night at The Chicago Theatre!   One of ChiIL Mama's lucky readers will be there to see it as well.    She was so excited to win 4 tickets and wrote to us that A Christmas Story is her all time favorite movie and she can't wait to see the show.   We may still be counting down to Christmas, but for those who are eagerly counting down to opening night in Chi-Town, the wait is almost over.   This time tomorrow night, A Christmas Story will very nearly be here!

In the mean time, check out ChiIL Mama's sneak peek rehearsal footage of the lamp dance--the fabulously funny, Major Award song from 2 weeks into the rehearsal process.   We can't wait to see how the piece has evolved.   Enjoy!

Here's the show details:
Tony Award-winning John Rando (Urinetown, The Wedding Singer).  Warren Carlyle (Follies, Finian’s Rainbow), previously announced as the director and choreographer for A Christmas Story, The Musical!, had to bow out as director due to a scheduling conflict (Hugh Jackman on Broadway) but remains on the creative team as choreographer.   Celebrated dance arranger Glen Kelly (The Book of Mormon, Scottsboro Boys) adds to the creative team. A Christmas Story, The Musical! features a bright holiday score by composer/lyricist team Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and a book by Joseph Robinette based on the writings of radio humorist Jean Shepherd and the 1983 holiday film favorite.

After garnering rave reviews in last season’s production at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, Clarke Hallum and John Bolton (Spamalot, Contact, Titanic) return to A Christmas Story, The Musical! as Ralphie and The Old Man.   Matthew Lewis also returns as little brother Randy. New to the production are Gene Weygandt (Wicked, Big) as Jean Shepherd/ Narrator and Rachel Bay Jones (Women on The Verge…, Hair) as The Mother.

A Christmas Story, The Musical! culminates a six-city national tour at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State Street, December 14-30, 2011. The national tour included engagements in Hershey, PA (Hershey Theatre, Nov. 8 – 13); Detroit, MI (Fisher Theatre, Nov. 15 – 27); Raleigh, NC (Memorial Auditorium, Nov. 29 – Dec. 4); and Tampa, FL (Straz Center, Dec. 6-11).

John Rando’s Broadway credits include The Wedding Singer, Urinetown (Tony Award for Best Director), The Dinner Party and A Thousand Clowns. His other credits include The Toxic Avenger at New World Stages and Polish Joke at Manhattan Theatre Club. For Encores! Rando has directed On the Town, Damn Yankees, Face the Music, Strike Up the Band, Do Re Mi, The Pajama Game and Of Thee I Sing.
“We are thrilled to have the remarkable John Rando on board as director of A Christmas Story, The Musical! and we are thrilled that Warren Carlyle will continue to be a part of our team as choreographer,” says producer Gerald Goehring. “With John and Warren at the helm, we have auditioned hundreds of actors across the country and online and are thrilled to have assembled the start of what promises to be an extraordinary ensemble. Both Clarke Hallum and John Bolton stopped the show with their incredible performances in the Seattle production and we’re thrilled to have them back on board for our 2011 tour.”
The story from a cherished movie classic that’s enchanted millions is now a musical spectacular. In 1940’s Indiana, a bespectacled boy named Ralphie has a big imagination and one wish for Christmas—a Red Ryder BB Gun. A kooky leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a cranky department store Santa, and a triple-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the obstacles that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas dream. Produced by the film’s original Ralphie, Peter Billingsley, A Christmas Story, The Musical! is a holiday entertainment that captures a simpler time in America with delicious
wit and a heart of gold.
A Christmas Story, The Musical! features scenic design by Walt Spangler (Desire Under the Elms); costume design by Elizabeth Hope Clancy (Passing Strange, The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?); lighting design by Tony Award winner Howell Binkley (Jersey Boys, Memphis); orchestrations by 2011 Tony nominee Larry Blank (Catch Me If You Can); musical supervision by Ian Eisendrath (5th Avenue Theatre’s Sunday In The Park With George, West Side Story); dance arrangements by Glen Kelly (The Book of Mormon, Scottsboro Boys), and casting by Stephanie Klapper (Dividing the Estate, The Tempermentals) Peter Billingsley joins commercial producers Gerald Goehring (Frankenstein: The Musical), Roy Miller (West Side Story revival, The Drowsy Chaperone), Michael Mitri (Frankenstein: The Musical), Pat Addiss (Promises, Promises; Spring Awakening), Louise Beard, Michael Filerman, Mariano Tolentino, Tim Laczynski, Bartner/ Jenkins Entertainment, Angela Milonas and Bradford W. Smith. The Chicago engagement of A Christmas Story, The Musical! is presented by  Madstone Productions and Patriot Productions.

Performance schedule and tickets
The performance schedule for A Christmas Story, The Musical! at The Chicago Theatre, Dec. 14 – 30, is as follows: Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, Dec. 15, at 3 and 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 16, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday Dec. 17, at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 18, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 20, at 7:30 p.m. ; Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 3 and 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, Dec. 22, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday Dec. 23, at 11 a.m. and 7:30 pm.; Saturday, Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve), at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.; Monday, Dec. 26, at 3 and 7:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 27, at 3 and 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Dec. 28, at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, Dec. 29, at 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, Dec. 30, at 3 and 7:30 p.m.
Tickets range from $35-$79, with Premium tickets also available. Tickets are now on sale for A Christmas Story, The Musical! at The Chicago Theatre box office, 175 N. State Street, by visiting http://www.thechicagotheatre.com/  or calling 1-800-745-3000. Group discounts are available by calling Group Theater Tix at 312-423-6612.

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