Peter Billingsley, the actor who starred as the nine-year-old bespectacled hero “Ralphie” in the 1983 irreverent holiday film classic A Christmas Story, has signed on as a producer of the new musical adaptation of the perennial favorite, currently in previews at Seattle’s5th Avenue Theatre. Billingsley, who has since gone on to a successful career in Hollywood as an actor, producer and director, will be in Seattle to give production notes and to meet the 11-year-old actor Clarke Hallum, who plays Ralphie in A Christmas Story: The Musical.
“A Christmas Story has always meant a lot to me personally and to audiences worldwide,” said Peter Billingsley. I’m excited to bring this film to the stage because the story and the characters lend themselves so well to the exciting ingredients that become available in the world of musicals. Just think about the idea of a Leg Lamp Kickline! I am honored to be part of this brand new musical and look forward to bringing it to audiences everywhere.”
Peter Billingsley has been a member of the Hollywood community since the age of three, appearing in television commercials in the 1970s before jettisoning to fame with the holiday classic A Christmas Story in 1983, where he portrayed the unforgettable Red Ryder BB gun-seeking Ralphie Parker. Since then Billingsley has taken his talent behind the camera, bringing his comedic genius and impeccable timing to both film and television. As a producer, he has earned an Emmy nomination for the critically acclaimed Independent Film Channel TV show “Dinner for Five,” and has also worked as Executive Producer on the hit films The Break Up and Four Christmases with his longtime friend and collaborator Vince Vaughn, as well as working as producer on the 2008 blockbuster Iron Man. As a director, his most recent film was Couples Retreat, starring Vaughn and Jon Favreau, along with Malin Ackerman and Kristin Bell. Currently he’s developing the big screen adaptation of Melissa Marr’s fantasy novel “Wicked Lovely,” which Billingsley will produce along with Valeri Vaughn.
Peter joins commercial producers Gerald Goehring (Frankenstein: The Musical) and Michael Mitri (Frankenstein: The Musical), who have guided the production forward since its World Premiere at Kansas City Rep last season. Broadway producer Roy Miller (The Pee-Wee Herman Show, West Side Story revival) recently came onboard to help lead the production forward along with Pat Addiss (Promises, Promises; Spring Awakening), Louise H. Beard, Mariano Tolentino, Timothy Laczynski, Bartner/Jenkins Entertainment, Angela Milonas, and Bradford W. Smith. The producers are in the process of formulating post-Seattle plans for A Christmas Story: The Musical!
More about A Christmas Story: The Musical!
Based on the stories of radio humorist Jean Shepherd and adapted from the hilarious 1983 family holiday film, A Christmas Story: The Musical! follows young Ralphie Parker, as he schemes his way towards the holiday gift of his dreams — a Red Ryder 200 Shot Carbine Action Air Rifle. With its sparkling original score by Broadway’s hottest young composer/lyricist team Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, its wicked wit, and its heart of pure gold, A Christmas Story: The Musical! plays through December 30, 2010, and is a yuletide delight for the whole family.
Tickets for A Christmas Story: The Musical! are available by calling 206-625-1900 or toll-free at 888-5TH-4TIX (584-4849). Tickets can also be purchased online at www.5thavenue.org and in person at the box office located at 1308 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101. Box office hours are Monday-Friday, 9:30 AM-5:30 PM.