Virginia Rep Opens A CHRISTMAS STORY THE MUSICAL
Virginia Repertory Theatre announces the opening of A Christmas Story, The Musical, November 25th on the Arenstein Stage at the Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre, 114 West Broad Street, with a preview on Wednesday, November 23. The production runs through January 1, 2017. Based on the iconic movie, this rollicking new musical respins the beloved story of Ralphie and his search for the perfect Christmas gift. With a book by Joseph Robinette and music and lyrics by acclaimed musical theatre team, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, A Christmas Story, The Musical is becoming a tradition on regional theater stages across the nation.
Virginia Rep's Associate Artistic Director, Chase Kniffen, will direct the show. "I love Christmas and I love this show - not only for its entertainment value but for what it says about family. This musical is huge with 31 cast members, tap dancing kids, live band, bloodhounds, and a big set. The score incorporates the nostalgia and humor of the movie in a way that heightens the charm and magic of childhood and the holidays." Kniffen's recent directing credits include Dreamgirls, Gypsy, South Pacific, and The Color Purple for Virginia Rep and Caroline, or Change for Cadence Theatre Company in partnership with Virginia Rep. He has received the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016 RTCC Award for Best Director of a Musical, most recently for his work on Dreamgirls this past summer.
Joining Kniffen are Music Director Ben Miller (The Color Purple and The Producers for Virginia Rep, Urinetown: The Musical and The Rocky Horror Show at VCU) and Choreographer, Nicole Oberleitner (La Cage aux Folles at Richmond Triangle Players, 42nd Street at the Dogwood Dell).
Virginia Rep welcomes William Berloni and his two bloodhounds, Moose and Reba, who will be making their stage debut as the Bumpus Hounds. Berloni is an acclaimed Broadway animal trainer, and a Tony Honoree for Excellence in Theatre and a Recipient of the Outer Critics Circle Special Achievement Award. Broadway credits include: Annie (original Sandy, 20th, 30th and 35th Anniversary revivals), The Crucible, Living on Love, The Audience, Bullets Over Broadway, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, A Christmas Story, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Legally Blonde, Camelot, Frankenstein, The First, Alice in Wonderland, Oliver!, Anything Goes, Nick and Nora, La Bete, The Wiz, The Wizard of Oz, among many. He is the Animal Director for Because of Winn Dixie, the Musical at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in January 2017. Current National tours include Annie and Finding Neverland. He has worked on hundreds of Off-Broadway, regional productions, tours, movies and television shows. He premiered his new reality series "From Wags to Riches with Bill Berloni" on Discovery Family Channel and trained Nana in "Peter Pan Live" (2014) and Toto in "The Wiz Live" (2015) on NBC. Author of "Broadway Tails." Berloni is the Director of Animal Training and Behavior for the Humane Society of New York.
The design team includes set designer Brian Barker, lighting designer Joe Doran, and costume designer Jeanne Nugent. Recent credits for Barker include Saturday, Sunday Monday, Spring Awakening, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels for Virginia Rep. He is the Principle Production Designer of Barker Designs and has designed productions for NBA Halftime shows and network television. Recent credits for Doran include Dreamgirls (RTCC award), South Pacific and The Color Purple for Virginia Rep, assistant lighting designer for Doctor Zhivago and Magic/Bird on Broadway, and the national tours of Anything Goes, West Side Story, Flashdance the Musical, and In the Heights. Nugent recently designed costumes for Croaker: The Frog Prince Musical and Peter and the Starcatcher at Virginia Rep.
Starring as young Ralphie is thirteen-year-old Brandon McKinney. Recent Virginia Rep credits include Gypsy, Goodnight Moon, Mame and Music Man. He won the 2015 RTCC for Best Supporting actor in Caroline, or Change in partnership with Cadence Theatre Company.
Virginia Rep is delighted to welcome back to the stage, radio personality Garet Chester as narrating Jean Shepherd. Previous Virginia Rep credits include The Wizard of Oz and Driving Miss Daisy. Richmonders will remember him on morning radio on WRNL, WRVQ, B-103.7, or as Bubba Massey Valentine III with Bill Bevins on Lite 98.
Duke Lafoon returns to the Arenstein Stage as the Old Man, for the first time since Next to Normal in 2013 in partnership with Cadence Theatre. Other credits include Doubt at Virginia Rep, Bill Clinton in the Off-Broadway production of Clinton The Musical, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at Gateway and The Audience at Transport Group.
Andrea Rivette plays Ralphie's Mother. Rivette most recently performed at the November Theatre in Next to Normal (RTCC Best Actress). Broadway/National Tour credits include Emma Carew in Jekyll and Hyde and Ellen in Miss Saigon. Susan Sanford (Mame, Gypsy, Vanya, Sonya, Masha and Spike at Virginia Rep) will play the role of Miss Shields.
Box Office 804-282-2620
Full Price Tickets: Adults $48 - $60. Youth $38 - $50.
Discounted Group Rates and Rush tickets available.
U-Tix for college and high school students $15. Available by phone or in person day of show only. Student ID required.
New Free Ticket Programming
Virginia Rep is launched two new free ticket programs this fall. The Free-View Lottery will provide 50 free tickets through a lottery system on the first Wednesday Preview of all Signature shows. The Community Tickets Grant Program creates a process for nonprofit organizations to apply for up to 50 free tickets for the groups they serve who may not otherwise have the ability to attend a show. More information at www.virginiarep.org.
The Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre is equipped with a state-of the-art induction loop hearing system that is compatible with all telecoil-equipped hearing aids and cochlear implants. A handheld receiver and headphone system is also available free of charge for anyone who is hearing impaired.
Valet parking is available for $8 at all performances and free self-park is available for patrons within blocks of the theatre.