The holiday season is upon us, and the Fox network will be spreading the yuletide joy by presenting a live broadcast of a production of the Broadway musical, A Christmas Story. This star-studded special will air on Dec. 17, but also Playbill confirmed that A Christmas Story Live will be getting a soundtrack. So while this cast will only be performing the show once, fans will be able to enjoy the festive music all year long. If you are hoping to get an early listen of the A Christmas Story soundtrack on Spotify, however, you'll have to wait. The album won't be released until after the broadcast. According to Broadway.com, the album will be available for digital download and streaming on Dec. 18.
Just as the cast recording to Fox's 2016 broadcast musical Grease: Live! was released and made available for streaming a few days after the broadcast, the cast of A Christmas Story Live! are recording and releasing their own renditions of songs from the musical. The new album will also feature some new songs written exclusively for the broadcast. In many ways, this new recording could serve as the most complete cast recording of A Christmas Story, as it incorporates changes from years of development by the original songwriters, La La Land's Justin Paul and Benj Pasek, per that same Playbill article.
While a cast recording for the original musical was released in 2012, the musical itself has gone through a series of chances in the past five years. A Christmas Story Live will feature songs that had been added to the musical for its Broadway opening, which occurred after the cast recording of the world premiere version was released. It will also feature entirely new music from the songwriting team that has never appeared in any version before.
While Pasek and Paul may not have household names in 2012 when the musical debuted, they've become two of the biggest names in songwriting. In 2016, their contributions to the film La La Land earned them two Oscar nominations for Best Original Song, winning for "City of Stars." On top of that, their Broadway hit Dear Evan Hansen won Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Musical. They also wrote songs for Hugh Jackman's upcoming P.T. Barnum musical, The Greatest Showman. And A Christmas Story: The Musical continues to be a holiday favorite on tour, even though it's no longer on Broadway. Now, five years after its premiere, the two stars of musical theater are revisiting that musical and making a few new additions to their show.
One new number written specifically for this live show is "In the Market for a Miracle," which will be sung by SNL star Ana Gasteyer, who's playing the role of Mrs. Schwartz. The song will honor the Jewish heritage of the Schwartz family, which isn't a part of the movie. (“When you get a phone call saying Pasek and Paul want to write a song for you, you say yes. I’m so excited—and so desperate—to do a good job on it. It’s hard to sing; it’s fun to sing," Gasteyer said to Playbill.) Songwriter and pop star Bebe Rexha is contributing her vocals to "Count on Christmas." Paul told Playbill that recording the latest cast recording "really feels like closing the loop. This is now the definitive version of the show."
Although the story has been told time and time again in various mediums, A Christmas Story Live offers something brand new to fans of the original musical and fans of the original Christmas Story film. This "definitive version" of the show's soundtrack will help fans enjoy the songs all year round and would make a perfect gift for any Christmas-obsessed person or musical theater nerd in your family.
The tale behind A Christmas Story Live may feel familiar, but the fresh cast recording proves that it's never too late to breathe new life into a great story.