‘A Christmas Story Live’ Vs. The Movie Makes It Clear That The Spirit Of The Original Classic Is Still Alive
If the year ended without a live adaptation of a beloved film, was it even a year at all? Well, 2017 just got a little more tolerable because on Dec. 17, Fox is airing A Christmas Story Live. That's right, the flick you watch at least once every Christmas and definitely made you want to stick your tongue to a pole is coming back all shiny and new, this time with singing. But you original A Christmas Story enthusiasts out there may be wary of a new adaptation. I'm going to compare A Christmas Story Live to A Christmas Story, the movie, so you know what you're in for.
Well, the first thing fans should know is that this adaptation will undoubtedly be different than the original movie. For one thing, it is a musical and the original was definitely not. Sure, musicals are not not everyone's cup of tea but trust that this one is bound to be amazing. A Christmas Story Live will actually be a delightful mixture of A Christmas Story and A Christmas Story: The Musical, which ran on Broadway in 2012 and continues to tour. You see, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul of Dear Evan Hansen and La La Land wrote the original songs for the musical. You can preview what you're going to hear on Sunday night by listening to the Broadway soundtrack on Spotify or iTunes or wherever you get your tunes.
Besides the whole musical aspect, which does change the whole pacing and story just a bit, executive producer Marc Platt promised that fans will feel nostalgic for the original film, but also get something new from the live special. In an interview with Broadway World, Platt said:
"The challenge of adapting something so beloved is to be sure that you be respectful of the original material, and that you are delivering for an audience all the elements that people who love the film need to see to be satisfied. And the same with the musical. You have all these great musical moments and beautiful score to land, but also want to deliver an experience that is unique, that no one has ever experienced before in this new genre of a live television version."
A Christmas Story Live will have a narrator, just like the original version but this time around, instead of Jean Shepherd from the original movie, Matthew Broderick will step into the role. And he'll appear on screen, unlike in the movie. Per FOX's website, the rest of the cast isn't so shabby either, boasting the likes of Jane Krakowski, SNL's Maya Rudolph, Anna Gastayer and Broadway big name Chris Diamantopoulos. The leading role of Ralphie, originated by Peter Billingsley, will be taken over by the adorable Andy Walken.
The most interesting part of this project has to be the way it will be filmed and aired for television. When they call it "live!", they truly mean it. As the Broadway World article explained, the live audience is literally going to follow the cast around from scene to scene, which is bananas. In an interview with the New York Post, Broderick discussed how complex the shooting methods were for this project and even admitted that the whole thing is making him, a Broadway veteran by the way, a little nervous. He told the publication, “It’s extremely complicated, just trying to get it staged in a way that actors get to the right set at the right time.” and added that perhaps, “They should have hired a newscaster” in his place.
Sure, it can be a little scary to see such a beloved classic revamped and in musical form, but A Christmas Story Live seems like it'll carry through the sprit of the original.