A Christmas Story, the Musical

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dan Lauria, who stars in “A Christmas Story, the Musical,” and Irwin Zwilling, Jean Shepherd’s best friend who holds the rights to his work, talk about turning story from a movie classic to a Broadway musical spectacular. Set in 1940s Indiana, 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. It’s playing through December 30 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.


Dan Lauria and Irwin Zwilling

Comments [5]

joel baumwoll from New York City

There is no sentimentality in the movie, nor is there nostalgia. Shepherd was adamant that his writings were not nostalgia but were allegories and thus timeless. He was a truth-teller, which is what endeared him to the adolescent kids and teenage kids who doted on his every word. I regret that I will not see the show or be able to take my grand kids before it closes. I introduced them to the movie when they were 7 or 8 years old and they loved it and have ever since. Shepherd's genius was in taking small things of everyday life and making us notice them in new ways. And of course, his immense talent for telling or writing a story. I listen to his programs often and feel that many could have been put on the air yesterday.

Knees loose, fatheads.

Dec. 19 2012 10:42 AM
Eugene B. Bergmann from New York

This musical is entertaining and it is good. This is especially true because of the number of degrees of separation it went through from the original stories: 1. Shepherd told the stories upon which A CHRISTMAS STORY is based live and mostly improvised on his radio shows; 2. he wrote the stories down and they were published in Playboy and in two of his books of stories; 3. he co-wrote the movie script with his wife, Leigh Brown and with the movie's director, Bob Clark; 4. a non-musical play has been performed around the country at Christmas time for a few years; 5. the musical has gone through some changes as it made its way to Broadway. Despite the potential for disaster, the musical is a joy to experience. Excelsior!

Dec. 19 2012 10:01 AM
Joe from Harlem

I just wanted to clarify a couple of points made in the show. Jean Shepherd grew up in Hammond, Indiana which he fictionalized as Hohman, Indiana in many of his stories. A Christmas Story was filmed in Cleveland. The house that was used for the exterior shots in the movie has been bought and restored, complete with leg lamp in the window, by a fan, and is now a museum dedicated to the movie.

Dec. 18 2012 09:39 PM
emilyposter from Brooklyn

Leonard - I was surprised to hear you refer to a woman as a 'dog' on the show....
That was a very unpleasant thing to hear you say

Dec. 18 2012 01:12 PM
maggie from nj

I'd read that Jean S.'s life is just not traceable: when reporters tried to follow up on his accounts of his life, they could not find evidence to support it. Also that he had a number of versions of his own life. True?

Dec. 18 2012 12:54 PM

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