It's never too early in the year to think about Christmas, in my humble opinion. If you're like me, then you'll be particularly delighted by this Christmas-y news: The Hollywood Reporter has announced that one of Fox's next live musicals will reportedly be A Christmas Story. It's time to start sewing yourself a big, pink bunny onesie, and put up some cans in your backyard to practice shooting with your Red Ryder air rifle in preparation for this epic live musical moment.
According to THR, there will be plenty to love about A Christmas Story in its live, televised format. One of the most exciting bit of news coming from THR's report is that Broadway legends and Tony Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul will compose several new songs specifically for this version of the beloved Christmas cult classic. Oh, I am so in. Like, all the way in for this.
That said, the THR report is surprisingly sparse on any details around casting, or whether this televised musical version of the story will more closely resemble the actual Broadway musical or will be more faithful to the film. To be fair, the two pre-existing versions of A Christmas Story are already quite similar, but you never know; Fox may decided to make some big changes for this special live TV format.
As a diehard fan of A Christmas Story, I have a few ideas on which scenes and songs the producers over at Fox should definitely retain. If A Christmas Story is going to be a successful live musical, here are some things that should happen.
There Should Be Cameos From The Original Movie Cast
It's become a common and fun Easter egg for live television musicals to feature original cast members from either the musical or film versions of the show being performed. Ricki Lake appeared in Hairspray Live! and Didi Conn made an appearance in Grease Live! last year. It would be so amazing to see some of A Christmas Story's original cast, like Peter Billingsley (who played Ralphie) or R.D. Robb (who played the foul-mouth BFF, Schwartz), pop up in the live televised musical.
The Pink Bunny Suit & The Leg Lamp Need To Happen
Aside from the Red Ryder air rifle, both the pink bunny pajamas and the leg lamp are the most recognizable and infamous props from A Christmas Story. To not include these items in the live television musical would be an act of total treachery.
Classics Lines Have To Be Said
I mean, when you think A Christmas Story, it hard not to hear the department store Santa chastising Ralphie for wanting a Red Ryder air rifle with the classic line, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid." Or how about Ralphie's dad, excited with the arrival of the leg lamp, sounding out the word "fragile" as "fra-gee-lay." Classic.
There Must Be A Narrator To Give The Story Its Humor
The hilarious and wry narration of Jean Shepherd, who wrote the original story upon which the 1983 film is based, provided a great, dry wit to A Christmas Story. Shepherd's reading of lines like, "Only one thing in the world could've dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window," while talking about the leg lamp are what make A Christmas Story so great. The live televised musical version absolutely must have a narrator to bring some of these great lines back to life.
The Nostalgia Of A 1940s Christmas Is A Necessity
It's a safe bet that when it goes up live on TV, A Christmas Story will feature tons of songs and a new cast. But if anything, if there's can only be one element that remains, it should be the strong evocation of a homey, nostalgic, 1940s Christmas. Complete with the classic Christmas songs playing in the background, the sweater vests and humongous snow suits, and even the old-school parade the Parker family attends with those weird Wizard of Oz characters, A Christmas Story should pop with old-school nostalgia on our TV screens.
Mark your calendars now, because A Christmas Story is coming to Fox this Christmas season.