A Christmas Story The Musical opens at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York on Monday, November 19th with previews starting November 7th.
If you’re not familiar with A Christmas Story, it is originally a 1980’s Christmas comedy movie set in the late 1930’s / early 1940’s based on stories from Jean Shepherd’s “In God We Trust All Others Pay Cash“. The film often ranks on top Christmas movie lists and on Christmas Eve, is shown for 24 hours straight on TBS.
While a sequel to the movie was just released on DVD, the musical follows the storyline from the original 1983 movie. Directed by John Rando, choreographed by Warren Carlyle, with songwriters Benj Pasek & Justin Paul. Producers include Peter Billingsley, who played the role of Ralphie in the original film. The show ran in 5 cities last year (Hershey PA, Detroit MI, Chicago IL, Raleigh NC and Tampa FL) before the Broadway engagement was announced.
Dan Lauria is cast as Jean Shepherd, the narrator. He’s best known as the father from the TV series, The Wonder Years (which, coincidentally, was inspired by A Christmas Story).
John Bolton play the role of “The Old Man”, Mr. Parker. Strangely, Mr. Parker’s first name is never mentioned in the movie, but is used again and again in the musical. Erin Dilly, who starred opposite Matthew Broderick in Broadway’s Nice Work If You Can Get It plays Mrs. Parker.
The role of Ralphie goes to Johnny Rabe, who was also in last year’s national tour of A Christmas Story, The Musical (he played “Insistent Boy”) while Ralphie’s brother, Randy, is played by Zac Ballard.
In recent years, as children who watched the movie in the 1980’s have grown into disposable income, popularity of A Christmas Story has really exploded. The original house from the movie (in Cleveland, OH) is now a tourist attraction with museum and numerous products (from board games, to ornaments, to cookie cutters) are available. You can even be the proud owner of your own “Major Award,” with Leg Lamps available in all different sizes.
So I recently got back from a trip to NYC, which is also home to broadway, tons of stars and also bed bugs. Unfortunately for one of my friends, they didn’t see the show Hairspray, but they did bring home something like the NYC version of Cooties, Bedbugs. Although we didn’t see Hairspray, it is just like the song Cooties from Hairspray where these little bastard bugs just seem like they are crawling everywhere and you cannot get rid of them. Not only do you have to throw things out, but it is seriously expensive to try and treat them. I feel seriously sorry for my friend, but I also cannot resist singing the Cooties song from Hairspray to him as well. Anyways, although Bedbugs aren’t actually Cooties, the song is funny and I did learn a few things that everyone should do when they are coming home from New York City so that they can try to reduce the risk of getting Bedbugs.
1. Unpack your bags outside of your house or apartment. Not only will this let you look through your clothes and suitcase to make sure you aren’t bringing bedbugs home from NYC, but you’ll also have a chance to shake everything out before it goes into your house.
2. Bring a plastic bag and load everything you shake out into it. This way if any bedbugs did crawl into your bags or suitcase while on the trip, they are now contained in the plastic bag. m
3. Immediately put everything in the dryer for at least 25 minutes on high heat. Apparently putting your clothes and everything else in the dryer on high heat will kill bed bugs.
4. Buy sprays and use them in your suitcase. You cannot be too careful and these things are hard to find or see sometimes. It never hurts to spray your suitcase down with bed bug spray. Use it in all of the pockets, in the lining and everywhere else. They can get into everything and hide in everything.
5. Search your room when you get to NYC. One of the best things to protect yourself from Bed Bugs in NYC is to check out websites like the Bed Bug report for recent infestations, but also to check out the room yourself. If you see any or think you do, request a refund and find a new hotel.
6. Store your suitcase in the bathroom. I’m not sure if this is true, but apparently bed bugs do not like or live in bathrooms. If your bathroom is big enough, store your suitcase in it and if they don’t live in there there is a chance your bags are safer.
Bedbugs are not fun at all, but unfortunately you may get them if you go to NYC. Be smart and search your hotel room before you stay there or unpack and if you see them, check into somewhere else. In the meantime, lets hope my friend is able to get rid of his bedbugs and also sing Cooties from Hairspray to him because it is kind of funny and will at least make him laugh.
So I am not going to be able to make it to the You Are Not Alone Benefit in NYC tomorrow night which sucks because the line up and the cause is amazing. Luckily my friend is probably going to go which also means that she can do a review for us. Betty Buckley will be performing there and she is one of the only Broadway Stars I haven’t been able to see yet which is why it is a double disappointment that I cannot make it to the show. At the same time I’ll hopefully be able to get to see her at some point at another show as she is still performing and has not retired.
I highly recommend this show as it is a once in a lifetime event and for a good cause. You also get to see a ton of amazing performers for only $25. You cannot beat the price of the event and at the same time when else are you going to find that much talent in one place and for that price? Anyways, even though I can’t make it to the show, I wanted to share the top ten broadway showtunes that I think would be perfect for the You Are Not Alone Benefit in NYC.
1. No One Is Alone from Into The Woods. There is a rumor that this is the song that Betty Buckley will be singing. Not only is it amazing and may make you cry, but it is perfect for reminding gay teens that life does get better and that they actually are not alone.
2. This next song is called I believe in you from How To Succeed in Business without Ever really trying. Although it sounds funny that this song and show would be on a list for Gay Teens and gay teen suicide, it is a song that teaches you to believe in yourself and to be confident, even when there is a group of bullies out to stop you. Knowing that it gets better and that you are doing your best and being confident in yourself is what can help to make you survive and push through being bullied because you are gay. That is why this song made it onto this list.
3. Hold On from the Secret Garden. This song always makes me tear up when I hear it. It is a gorgeous song about holding on when things get bad and reminds you to be strong. Being bullied and being gay can be lonely and scary and this song is about holding on and surviving through it. It is not only a gorgeous song but one that you can listen to and understand why it is perfect for this list of the top ten broadway songs for gay teens who are being bullied or thinking about suicide.
4. Not While I’m Around from Sweeny Todd. One of Stephen Sondheim’s greatest shows is Sweeny Todd. We all know it is about killing people but when the young guy finds out that Benjamin is murdering people, he wants to protect his adopted mom. Some gay teens are lucky enough to have a friend or a family member who is there to protect them and because of the security that that adds to their lives, this song made it on the list of the top ten broadway songs for GLBT youth and gay teen suicide.
5. Whose Got Extra Love from Zanna Don’t. So this show never really took off but I didn’t want to have only sappy and sad songs on this list. Zanna Don’t is a show about an alternate reality where everyone is gay and there are two straight people that want to be in love with each other. In their world they aren’t able to be in love or they’ll be made fun of and picked on. It is basically the exact opposite of the real world or the one we live in and it is kind of funny to watch everything in reverse. Although this isn’t one of the songs that would be relevant to gay teen suicide and bullying, it is upbeat and fun. Here is whose got extra love from Zanna Don’t.
6. Three Bedroom House from Bat Boy. The reason I chose this song from Bat Boy the Musical is because it is about Bat Boy finding a way out of being picked on and made fun of. The Mom and Daughter decide to take him and move out of town where they can get a three bedroom house in the country, plastic surgery and live a normal life away from all of the bullies in the city. This seems like a great plan until the mom finds out her daughter is in love with Edgar (Bat Boy). All of the sudden things change but the Mom does start to accept them and still loves Bat Boy because she knows it isn’t his fault.
7. If You Were Gay from Avenue Q. This song made the list not only because the amazingly talented and very cute John Tartaglia will be performing at the show, but because I wanted to have a few more non sappy and fun songs on the list of the top ten broadway songs for GLBT youth. I thought that If You Were Gay from Avenue Q is the perfect song to remind gay teens that it is ok to be gay and that there are people out there who don’t care and will love you regardless.
8. Maybe from Annie. How could you not have a song from Annie on this list? Not only were they stuck in an orphanage with Miss Hanagen, but they all wanted something better. Annie not only toughed it out but she never gave up. Maybe from Annie is a great song for gay teens to think about when things get tough and to help them remember that if Annie and all of the rest of us can make it through being a gay teen, they can to.
9. On My Own from Les Miserables. There are a million songs from Les Miserables that are perfect for this list. I dreamed a dream to Bring him home and Castle on a Cloud and even One Day More are all perfect, but the one that most people would know and that many gay teens can relate to has to be On My Own. Not only do some gay teens feel alone but they can picture themselves walking through the streets alone at night and knowing that other people may not get them or get what they are trying to say. They just sometimes feel invisible to their families and everyone else thinks less of them or like they are on the outside looking in. This song not only relates to them but can also let them get some tears out. Although the character does not survive the show, she never gave up and she fought for what was right and what she believed in. The point of On My Own being on this list of the top ten broadway songs for gay teens and youth is to show you that just because you feel alone it doesn’t mean you are. This is one of the most beautiful songs on broadway and one that almost everyone knows and loves.
10. Up There from South Park. This is actually a beautiful song, even though it is from South Park. The whole point of it is to remember that there are better things for you out there and that you just have to be patient. High school is only 4 years long and not your entire life. Just be patient and when it is over you can get out and move to a city with more gay people and more people that you can fall in love with or who get and accept you for who you are. Although it isn’t a show that most people wouldn’t think would be a good fit for this list, Up There from the South Park movie is perfect for the top ten broadway songs for gay teens and gay teen suicide.
There are a million more songs I would have loved to include on this list but I needed to narrow it down to top the top ten broadway songs for gay teens and GLBT youth bullying. There are songs from Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray, Showboat and many more with perfect fits for this list. If you have one you want to share or that you think would be a good fit, feel free to leave a comment below and I may add it into this list. Also, if you get a chance to go to the You Are Not Alone Benefit in NYC starring Betty Buckley, Seth Rudetsky, John Tartaglia and many more, go because it is not only for an amazing cause but you will also get to see a ton of amazing performers and Actors.
So I was going to apologize because I haven’t posted for a while but unfortunately I’m going Broadway Crazy right now and am about to go pick up tickets. I just cannot decide which show to see. You have Steven Sondheims A Little Night Music with Bernadette Peters and my favorite Elaine Stritch (who worked the song ladies who lunch), you have The Addams Family with Nathan Lane, Bebe Nueworth and my other favorite Jackie Hoffman or I might end up having to go to see Promises Promises with Kristen Chenoweth and Sean Hayes only because of my obsession with Kristen Chenoweth.
Not only are there amazing revivals playing right now like La Cage au Follies by Harvey Fierstein and starring Kelsey Grammer, but I heard he left the show, or you have Chicago. You have newer shows like Shrek the Musical or even Mama Mia but what we may end up doing is Rock of Ages because there are some non broadway people (I know, I already made the comments) who may come. NY is amazing because you not only have a huge selection of shows to see but the talent is above and beyond amazing.
The other thing that I love is that last night since broadway goes black (no shows) on Monday nights I went to Splash Bar which is one of the most popular showtunes nights in the country. Upstairs you have a ton of singing until the drag show starts and if you aren’t into drag queens and you want to keep watching showtunes everyone goes downstairs into the lounge. The thing that I love about Splash Bar showtunes in NYC is that unlike Chicago, Baltimore or DC, Showtunes at Splash Bar in NYC is all about NY and the Tony’s.
Since splash bar is in NYC and so it Broadway and are the Tony’s, it is amazing to be able to watch them all and then go outside and head up to midtown to get to see all of the shows and where they are. This is probably the only city in the world where you can do an entire night of Tony awards shows and it will never get old because NYC is the only place in the world where broadway owns the nights and even has its own part on the news.
You have celebrities everywhere, actors everywhere, classic shows new shows like Fela on 49th street and everything in between. It’s going to be almost impossible to decide so whatever is on sale at the half priced tickets in times square will probably be the winner. There is nowhere else in the world like broadway and I cannot wait to get back and post all of the pictures. I hope you’re all enjoying your week and I’ll be back to posting again next week. Have fun and thanks for reading.