A Christmas Story is the most recent in a long line of adaptations of Jean Shepherd’s amusing radio stories about growing up in Indiana during the 1930s and 40s. He originally anthologized them in a book called In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash in 1966, which was then turned into the beloved holiday movie, *A Christmas Story *in 1983. He co-wrote the screenplay with Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, and also provided the narrations for the film.
The first musical version premiered at Kansas City Repertory Theatre in St. Louis, MO in 2009, with music and lyrics by Scott Davenport Richards, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul. Pasek and Paul were thereafter hired to re-do the entire score. This would become their breakout project as a songwriting team. The following year, the show, crediting Pasek and Paul as well as the librettist, Joseph Robinette, opened at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, WA, with a national tour in 2011. It ran on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne theater from November 19-December 30, 2012, with direction by John Rando (Urinetown, On The Town 2014 Revival) and choreography by Warren Carlyle (After Midnight, The Mystery of Edwin Drood 2012 Revival). Dan Lauria of The Wonder Years played Jean Shepard, with John Bolton (the only actor to be with the show since it’s first production in Kansas) as The Old Man, Erin Dilly as Mother, Caroline O’Connor as Miss Shields, Zac Ballard as Randy and Johnny Rabe leading the cast as Ralphie. Though it only ran for two months in the seasonal window, it garnered three Tony Award nominations for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score, as well as a handful of Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations. In 2013, the Broadway production toured to a handful of cities and ended its run at Madison Square Garden followed by a national tour that ran from November 18, 2014 to January 4, 2015.