On Sunday Dec. 17, a classic staple of the holiday season will come to life, live on national television. FOX's A Christmas Story Live follows in the footsteps of other productions that have been performed live on network TV in recent years, such as NBC's Peter Pan Live and The Sound Of Music Live, as well as FOX's own Grease Live. Musical performances on live television can sometimes be supplemented by pre-recorded tracks, though. So, will the Christmas Story Live cast be lip-syncing on Sunday? (Bustle reached out for comment on the matter, but has not yet received a response.)
It seems safe to say that all performances will likely be live, given the musical talent the cast boasts. Maya Rudolph, who will play Ralphie's mother, is known for showcasing her pipes on Saturday Night Live, and Matthew Broderick, who will take on the role of the show's narrator, is a bona fide Broadway star.
"I know my live performances go a lot better, so it’s probably going to be a better version of what I normally do," Rudolph told Entertainment Weekly of her performance. "I think live actually gives me more adrenaline and energy, but I don’t pretend to know this process. I thought, 'I’ve never done a musical before. Won’t this be great?' I’ve always had real big, high aspirations to do Broadway. I had no idea what I was stepping into. It’s truly another animal."
The people behind A Christmas Story Live also have a lot more creative license to play with, given that the film, unlike Grease and The Sound Of Music, was never broadcast widely as a musical, though it was adapted as a Broadway play. "Hopefully people will come in loving that movie, I don’t think many people know the musical," director Scott Ellis told the New York Post. "There was never a cast album. They’ll see things they weren’t expecting."
Executive producer Marc Platt seems to agree with that sentiment. "Some of the songs from the original Broadway version have been revised or actually completely re-written," he said on a press call with BroadwayWorld. "So when a writer gets a second chance to look back on something, it's a great opportunity to say, 'hey, this is really good, but we can even do it better.' So there's a couple of those." And there's certainly big talent behind the music. According to the same New York Post article, the original Broadway music was composed by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who both won an Oscar last year for the La La Land ballad, "City of Stars." The pair also have won Tony Awards for Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen, according to TVInsider.
And there's even more Broadway talent within the cast, aside from the main players. Jane Krakowski of 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt fame also will take the stage as Ralphie's teacher. "I'm thrilled by that fear factor [of live performances], to be honest with you," the actress told The New York Times of this new role. "We had a stumble-through the other day, and I got so many butterflies. But I am happy that I'm nervous. I care, is basically what that means."
Krakowski won't just be flaunting her voice, as fans have seen her do for years, but she'll also be breaking out her dancing shoes. "I have an entire musical number based on that classic line ["You'll shoot your eye out"] — a big tap number," she said. "I haven't taken tap since I was a teenager, so I've been hitting the rehearsal room hard. And it's been a blast. I'm now convinced it's therapeutic. I think it's helped my brain."
Given the cast and crew's thoughts on the rigorous rehearsals they've undergone, and the nerves that even live entertainment experts have expressed about the program, it seems apparent that when viewers tune in to watch A Christmas Story Live, they'll be in for an authentic performance.