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A Christmas Story: Dan Lauria to star

Dan Lauria will star as radio icon 'Jean Shepherd' in the upcoming Broadway musical comedy adaptation of the 1983 movie A Christmas Story, The Musical, playing at the Lunt-Fontane Theatre from 5 Nov - 30 Dec 2012.

Lauria is best known to television audiences around the country for portraying fathers, including dad "Jack Arnold" in the long running series "The Wonder Years," and his current role as dad "Jack Sullivan" on the TBS comedy "Sullivan & Son." He made his Broadway debut in 2010 when he starred as 'Vince Lombardi' in Eric Simonson's 'Lombardi.'

Lauria said, "Theater is my great love, so making my Broadway debut in 'Lombardi' was a dream come true. But I never expected to return to Broadway in a musical. Luckily for the audience, it's a non-singing role! I'm a classic movie buff and A Christmas Story is a favorite of mine as it is for many others and I am excited to be part of this marvelous stage adaptation.

In A Christmas Story, The Musical, Lauria will play radio and television icon, humorist and storyteller Jean Shepherd. Shepherd's stories were published in a series of books including "In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash," on which both the musical and the 1983 film are based. Shepherd also served as narrator and co-screenwriter for the film.

The show will be directed by John Rando (Urinetown) and choreographed by Warren Carlyle (Follies, An Evening With Hugh Jackman). Casting for the Broadway premiere is still to be announced.

A Christmas Story: In 1940's Indiana, a bespectacled boy named Ralphie has a big imagination and one wish for Christmas—a Red Ryder BB Gun. A kooky leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a cranky department store Santa, and a triple-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the obstacles that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas dream.

The creative team features scenic design by Walt Spangler, costume design by Elizabeth Hope Clancy, lighting design by Howell Binkley and sound design by Ken Travis.

The musical launched a national holiday season tour in 2011 with stops in Hershey, PA; Detroit, MI; Raleigh, NC; Tampa, FL; and Chicago, IL.

The show is being produced on Broadway by Peter Billingsley, who starred as the original 'Ralphie' in the 1983 movie, along with commercial producers Gerald Goehring, Roy Miller, Michael F. Mitri, Pat Flicker Addiss, Mariano Tolentino, Louise H. Beard, Michael Filerman, Scott Hart, Timothy Laczynski, Bartner/Jenkins Entertainment, Angela Milonas, Bradford W. Smith.

The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 1983 movie features a screenplay by Jean Shepherd, based on his novel "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash," with additional screenplay credits by Leigh Brown and Bob Clark. The movie was directed by Bob Clark and starred Peter Billingsley as 'Ralphie,' Melinda Dillon as 'Mother' and Darren McGavin as 'The Old Man.'

Dan Lauria

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