Beloved ‘A Christmas Story’ to Be a Live Musical on Fox

This December, Fox is responding to a live musical version of “Bye Bye Birdie” on NBC (starring Jennifer Lopez) with a musical production based on the 1983 cult classic film “A Christmas Story,” and “A Christmas Story: The Musical,” its 2012 Broadway adaptation.

While it’s not a strictly faith-centric story, “A Christmas Story” — which gets marathon airings each year on TBS — is widely considered a great family film. If you watch it on DVD, though, you may get some strong language that you won’t get in the TBS version.

Here’s what the USCCB had to say about it:

Adapted from Jean Shepherd’s nostalgic piece of whimsy, “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash,” the movie re-creates what it was like to be a boy (Peter Billingsley) yearning for a genuine Red Ryder air rifle for Christmas in the Midwest of the 1940s.  Director Bob Clark gets some good performances from Darren McGavin and Melinda Dillon as the understanding parents and the period atmosphere is nicely conveyed win what is essentially a warm celebration of a more innocent, less sophisticated America.  A few vulgar syllables.

Among the executive producers of Fox’s musical version is Marc Platt, who won an Emmy for Fox’s “Grease Live” musical in January 2016, and was an executive producer on the hit movie musical “La La Land.”

Says Warner Horizon Unscripted and Alternative Television president Mike Darnell (who was a driving force behind “American Idol” during his years at Fox), via The Hollywood Reporter:

“I can’t believe how incredibly lucky we are to have Marc Platt producing this iconic Christmas classic. Marc is the defining voice in this genre and it’s amazing to have this caliber of talent leading what is sure to be a new standard in live musical events.”

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who wrote lyrics to “City of Stars,” the Academy Award-winning  song from “La La Land,” and also scored “A Christmas Story: The Musical,” will add new songs to the live TV version, with Jonathan Tolins and Robert Cary adapting the story.

In the battle of the holiday-themed musicals, “A Christmas Story” follows NBC’s earlier announcement, reported here, of a live TV production of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” airing on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018.

Image: Adapted from the original movie logo (not the new musical’s logo).

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