Palo Alto Players Presents A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL
Palo Alto Players continues its 2019-20 season with A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL, the 2013 Tony-nominated musical based on the 1983 beloved film that follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker as he schemes his way toward the holiday gift of his dreams. Bay Area favorite Janie Scott (Palo Alto Players' Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, and The Addams Family) returns to Palo Alto Players to direct and choreograph a cast of 27 local Bay Area youth and adults, with music direction by Amanda Ku (Palo Alto Players' Flower Drum Song). A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL runs November 9-24 (preview November 8) at the Lucie Stern Theater, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. For information or tickets, visit paplayers.org or call 650.329.0891.
Based on the beloved holiday movie classic, A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL, is set in the 1940s in the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana, and chronicles young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker's desperate quest to ensure that his most perfect of gifts ends up under his tree, an official Red Ryder BB gun ("You'll shoot your eye out kid!"). An infamous lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a maniacal department store Santa, and a triple-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the distractions that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas wish. A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL features funny and heartfelt songs by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, the songwriting team behind the Tony Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen and the Academy Award-winning film La La Land. New York Magazine called it "A true gift! A sparkling adaptation with a surefire charmer of a score" and The New York Times said "You'd have to have a Grinch-sized heart not to feel a smile spreading across your face!"
"Like tens of thousands of others, the film A CHRISTMAS STORY is a perennial holiday 'must watch' for my family and me," says Artistic Director Patrick Klein. "The brilliant stage adaptation doesn't just capture the magic and nostalgia of the film, it also enriches the story with a lively, melodic score by arguably the most gifted songwriting duo in contemporary musical theatre, and our effervescent director Janie Scott is crafting a production that will no doubt get you and your family warmed up for the holiday season."
Janie Scott returns to Palo Alto Players to direct and choreograph A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL. Previously at Palo Alto Players she directed and choreographed Rock of Ages, Peter Pan, Disney's The Little Mermaid, Chicago, and The Addams Family. Scott has directed and choreographed over 50 productions from New York to Los Angeles, with a resume that spans decades of summer stock, dinner theatre, regional theatre, industrials, and film. Throughout her impressive career, she has worked directly with many musical theatre greats including Harold Prince, Stephen Sondheim, Trevor Nunn, and Michael Bennett. As a performer, she was seen in the original National and International touring companies of A Chorus Line, the Broadway productions of Peter Pan, and Merrily We Roll Along, and the original LA Company of Cats. For her choreography of Palo Alto Players' 2015 production of Chicago, Scott received the 2016 Theatre Bay Area Award.
Scott directs a cast of 27 local actors. The A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL cast features:
- Jean Shepherd: Shawn Bender
- Ralphie: Joshua Parecki
- Mother: Gwyneth Price Panos
- Randy: Antonio Elias
- The Old Man: Michael Rhone
- Schwartz: Misha Seeff
- Flick: Neal Sampson
- Esther Jane: Madeleine Chen
- Mary Beth: Sadie Evans
- Scut Farkus: Tristan Howard
- Grover Dill: Connor Dean
- Miss Shields: Juliet Green
- Fantasy Villain: Zendrex Llado
- Delivery Men: Daniel Cardenas, Arjun Sheth
- Policeman: Daniel Cardenas
- Fireman: Arjun Sheth
- Doctor: Michael Cai
- Nurse: Crystal Adams
- Flick's Mother: Jennifer Petersen
- Mrs. Schwartz: Kayvon Kordestani
- Santa Claus: Joey McDaniel
- Chief Elves: Emily Schmeichel-Frank, Daniel Cardenas
- Goggles Kid: Isaac Moore
- Waiters: Michael Cai, Zendrex Llado
- Waitress: Jennifer Petersen
- Carolers: Crystal Adams, Michael Cai, Naomi Evans, Jennifer Petersen, Michael Saenz, Emily Schmeichel-Frank
- Adult Ensemble: Crystal Adams, Michael Cai, Daniel Cardenas, Naomi Evans, Kayvon Kordestani, Zendrex Llado, Kathryn Petak, Jennifer Petersen, Michael Saenz, Emily Schmeichel-Frank, Arjun Sheth
- Kid's Ensemble: Brynn Ayoob, Madeleine Chen, Marlowe Ephron, Sadie Evans, Isaac Moore
The creative team includes music direction by Amanda Ku, scenic design by Patrick Klein, lighting design by Rick Amerson, costume design by Naomi Arnst, wig and makeup design by Gwyneth Price Panos, properties design by Margaret Deng, and sound design by Brandie Larkin.
Tickets for A CHRISTMAS STORY, THE MUSICAL can be purchased online at paplayers.org, by phone at 650.329.0891, or by visiting the Box Office (Tuesday through Friday, 11am - 4pm) at the Lucie Stern Theater, located at 1305 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto. Performances at the Lucie Stern Theater begin on November 9 and continue through November 24, with a paid preview performance on November 8. Performance times are Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Ticket prices range from $27 to $57. Discounts for seniors, educators, patrons under 30 (including children/students), and military are available for all performances except preview night. Special discounts for groups of 10 or more are also available.
Photo Credit: Joyce Goldschmid