STAGE TUBE: Kansas City Repertory Theatre's A CHRISTMAS STORY: THE MUSICAL!
Kansas City Repertory Theatre's holiday production of 'A Christmas Story: The Musical' continues to charm audiences through January 3, 2010. The new holiday show is the highest-grossing show in the Rep's 45-year history.
Due to public demand for tickets, Eric Rosen, artistic director of Kansas City Repertory Theatre, has extended the run of the theatre's phenomenal hit A Christmas Story, The Musical!, which Rosen also directed.
New performance dates and times are:
Tuesday, December 29, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, December 30, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Thursday, December 31, 4 p.m.
Friday, January 1, 2 p.m.
Saturday, January 2, 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sunday, January 3, 1 p.m.
In addition, a 1 p.m. matinee has been added on December 22.
Indications that A Christmas Story, The Musical! could be a best seller surfaced in August when a subscriber-only sale quickly surpassed its goals. While still in rehearsal, one third of the musical's performances had sold out and ticket sales surpassed revenue for the entire run of the 2008 production of A Christmas Carol, an audience favorite for 29 years. Tickets have been purchased by individuals in 33 states, from California to New York. Usually, a Rep show draws from about ten states, mostly in the central plains.
A Christmas Story, The Musical! is based on the now-classic movie, which itself was based on stories by legendary radio humorist Jean Shepherd (1921-1999), author of In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. Shepherd was a raconteur and sometimes-controversial host of New York's popular radio program "Live at the Limelight," during the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
A Christmas Story, The Musical! has a cast of 20 actors, eight of them children: Kansas City native Becky Barta, (Broadway: Frankenstein, A New Musical) as Miss Shields; John Bolton (Broadway: Curtains, Spamalot, Contact, Titanic) as The Old Man; Aaron Dwight Conley as Flick; Troy Doherty as Scut Farkus; Patrick DuLaney as Santa and others; Karen Errington, as Radio Quartet and others; Seth Golay as Jimbo and others; Jennie Greenberry as Radio Quartet and others; Dakota Hoar as Schwartz; James Judy (Broadway: Into the Woods, The Scarlet Pimpernel) as Jean Shepherd; Katie Kalahurka (Into the Woods) as an Elf and others; Katherine McNamara as Esther Jane and others; Alexiya Lourdes Mendez, as Mary Beth and others; Orville Mendoza, Elf/Radio Quartet and others; Alan Mingo, Jr. (Broadway: Pacific Overtures) as Radio Quartet and others; Anne L. Nathan (Broadway: Sunday in the Park with George, Chicago, Assassins, Ragtime, Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Mother; Kip Niven (KC Rep: Into the Woods) as the Tree Salesman and others; Zachary Rand as Grover Dill; Zachary Carter Sayle (national tour: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as Ralphie; Vanessa Severo as Mrs. Schwartz and others; Jake Siegfried as Randy.
The book for A Christmas Story, The Musical! was written by Joseph Robinette whose work has been produced at the Coterie Theatre in Kansas City and at Lincoln Center Theatre, Pittsburgh Playhouse, Dallas Children's Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, Connecticut Children's Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre and on BBC. Robinette collaborated with author E.B. White on the authorized stage version of Charlotte's Web. His other authorized dramatizations include Stuart Little, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Paper Chase.
Composer/librettist Scott Davenport Richards' works intersect music and drama and include Charlie Crosses the Nation, an opera in jazz idiom; A Thousand Words Come to Mind, a musical monologue staring Tony® Award-nominee Barbara Walsh; A Star Across the Ocean and Dance of the Holy Ghosts, which premiered last year at Yale Repertory Theatre. On stage, Richards originated the role of Sylvester in the Broadway production of August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and assisted his father, the director Lloyd Richards, in the origination of three other Wilson works.
A Christmas Story, The Musical! is produced by Grammy®Award-nominated Gerald Goehring Off-Broadway: Frankenstein, A New Musical, National Tours: Raisin' Cane with Jasmine Guy and God's Fool with Jack Klugman; Michael F. Mitri Off-Broadway: Frankenstein, A New Musical, Films: The Moment and The Dock Porter and Bartner/Jenkins Entertainment (Robert G. Bartner and Michael A. Jenkins), whose recent credits together include the Broadway shows Guys and Dolls, Tony® Award-winning Boeing-Boeing, Flower Drum Song, Legally Blonde and Brooklyn the Musical. Mr. Bartner's additional recent Broadway credits include Memphis, Superior Donuts and the Tony® Award-winning The Norman Conquests. In London, he has produced Prick Up Your Ears, La Cage Aux Folles, Carousel, Guys and Dolls (Olivier Award) and the upcoming Legally Blond.
A Christmas Story, The Musical! now runs through January 3 at Spencer Theatre in the James C. Olson Performing Arts Center on the UMKC campus. Tickets prices are $15-$70 and may be purchased by calling the Rep's box office at 816-235-2700, or by visiting the website, www.KCRep.org.
ABOUT KANSAS CITY REPERTORY THEATRE
Now in its 45th season, Kansas City Repertory Theatre is its region's only member of the prestigious League of Resident Theatres (LORT) and serves as the professional theatre in residence at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). The Rep produces mainstage plays and special events at Spencer Theatre on the UMKC campus and Copaken Stage located in downtown Kansas City. Kansas City Rep employs more than 250 professional artists, technicians and administrators, and serves more than 100,000 patrons annually.