As the holidays continue to loom near, Christmas specials on TV are a practical regular occurrence. And with the premiere production of A Christmas Story Live, everyone is asking the same question: is there A Christmas Story musical? During the live production on FOX, fans on Twitter were freaking out over the fact that the Christmas classic was now a musical. The only thing is, they were completely missing a huge piece of the puzzle.
The classic 1983 movie made it's Broadway debut in musical format in 2012, and now, it's coming to the living rooms of Americans everywhere. Of course, since the musical only had a very limited run on Broadway, it's not too surprising that many were confused as to where all these songs came from. As Playbill reported, "the show marked the Broadway debuts of powerhouse writing duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul," whose names you might recognize as the brains behind the Tony-winning smash hit, Dear Evan Hansen.
And now, millions of Americans will be able to see their creative genius at work in this live adaptation of one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time. And what makes this whole thing even better? The 2012 production featured one very important consultant: the original star of the show, Ralphie himself, Peter Billingsley.
In a 2012 interview with Playbill, Billingsley revealed that the musical adaption of the 1983 movie was exactly what he thought the movie needed as a companion. "I've been asked or approached in the past about adaptations," he explained. "When something is as successful or big as a brand, people really want to do things. I didn’t have any interest and hadn’t had any interest. The idea of a musical was very, very inspiring to me because it’s really an extension of the story."
And really, it makes sense that the film was turned into a musical, as Billingsley also explained to Playbill:
They did a pretty good job the first go-round. But Ralphie was very much a dreamer in the film. So many of those fantasy sequences lend themselves so well to the big Broadway song-and-dance pieces. And that’s really what it is. When the dad wins the leg lamp, it turns into a leg-lamp kickline.
So, while many might think that A Christmas Story being performed as a musical is pretty strange, that really isn't the case. In addition to the show having it's own Broadway past, one of it's stars is also no stranger to the Broadway stage. Jane Krakowski is taking to the screen in A Christmas Story Live to play Ralphie's school teacher, Miss Shields.
Of course, many fans recognize Krakowski for her roles on television in such smash hits as 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. But before all of that, Krakowski performed on several Broadway stages, and her training has certainly prepared her for her role in A Christmas Story Live. Because even though the original film didn't feature any dance scenes, this latest rendition certainly does, and it was Krakowski's personal favorite part of her role.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about her tap dance scene in the production, Krakowski explained:
It has been a great joy to bring out my tap shoes again, which I had not brought out for awhile. There’s not a lot of demand for tap these days, old-school tap, so it was a great joy to do it with the kids. There’s a Bugsy Malone quality to that number because I’m the only adult and everybody else is a kid, and that’s been my bonding experience with the children. And I think they are really holding this show up on their shoulders.
The holidays are a magical time, and really, what's more magical than a musical? While it might be a bit confusing to see such a classic movie performed with a lot of song and dance scenes, it's all just part of the fun.
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