Director to stage touring production
John Rando has been tapped to direct the upcoming touring production of the tuner adaptation of “A Christmas Story,” replacing Warren Carlyle, who originally signed on as helmer-choreographer.Carlyle (“Finian’s Rainbow”) remains onboard as choreographer. According to reps, he’s bowing out of the director role due to the scheduling conflict that arose when “Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway” — for which he provides musical staging and choreography — set a fall run, with previews beginning Oct. 25. Rando (“Urinetown,” “The Wedding Singer”) joins a title that began life at Kansas City Rep in 2009 and went on to play Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater in 2010. The upcoming tour aims to solidify the property’s status as a holiday staple, along the lines of “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas,” a stage tuner that has had a robust regional life as well as a couple of seasonal stints on the Main Stem. The road incarnation, which launches a five-stop tour in Hershey, Pa., on Nov. 8, will star Clarke Hallum, John Bolton and Matthew Lewis, who all appeared in the 5th Avenue staging, along with Gene Weygandt and Rachel Bay Jones. Musical version of the 1983 MGM pic “Christmas Story” has tunes by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and book by Joseph Robinette, based on the writings of Jean Shepherd and on the film. Peter Billingsley, who starred in the movie, produces the tuner along with a team of commercial producers that includes Gerald Goehring, Roy Miller and Michael Mitri and Pat Addiss.