Tony Award Winner John Rando to Direct A CHRISTMAS STORY Tour; Gene Weygandt, Rachel Bay Jones Join Cast

The producers of A Christmas Story, The Musical! have announced the latest additions to their creative team and principal cast. Tony Award winning John Rando (Urinetown, The Wedding Singer) has signed on as the new director for the national holiday tour. Warren Carlyle (Follies, Finian's Rainbow), previously announced as the director and choreographer for A Christmas Story, The Musical!, had to bow out as director due to a scheduling conflict (Hugh Jackman on Broadway) but remains on the creative team as choreographer. Also joining the creative team is celebrated dance arranger Glen Kelly (The Book of Mormon, Scottsboro Boys).

The producers have also announced initial casting. After garnering rave reviews in last season's production at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre, Clarke Hallum and John Bolton (Spamalot, Contact, Titanic) return to A Christmas Story, The Musical! as Ralphie and The Old Man. Matthew Lewis also returns as little brother Randy. New to the production are Gene Weygandt (Wicked, Big) as Jean Shepherd and Rachel Bay Jones (Women on The Verge..., Hair) as The Mother.

"We are thrilled to have the remarkable John Rando on board as director of A Christmas Story, The Musical! and we are thrilled that Warren Carlyle will continue to be a part of our team as choreographer," says producer Gerald Goehring. "With John and Warren at the helm, we have auditioned hundreds of actors across the country and online and are thrilled to have assembled the start of what promises to be an extraordinary ensemble. BotH Clarke Hallum and John Bolton stopped the show with their incredible performances in the Seattle production and we're thrilled to have them back on board for our 2011 tour."

John Rando's Broadway credits include The Wedding Singer, Urinetown (Tony Award for Best Director), The Dinner Party and A Thousand Clowns. His other credits include The Toxic Avenger at New World Stages and Polish Joke at Manhattan Theatre Club. For Encores! Rando has directed On the Town, Damn Yankees, Face the Music, Strike Up the Band, Do Re Mi, The Pajama Game and Of Thee I Sing.

A Christmas Story, The Musical! will launch a five-city National Tour for the 2011 holiday season with engagements in Hershey, PA (Hershey Theatre, Nov. 8 - 13); Detroit, MI (Fisher Theatre, Nov. 15 - 27); Raleigh, NC (Memorial Auditorium, Nov. 29 - Dec. 4); Tampa, FL, (Straz Center, Dec. 6 - 11); and Chicago, IL (Chicago Theatre, Dec. 14 - 30).

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