Actor joins cast of Broadway musical
Dan Lauria will star in the musical version of “A Christmas Story,” the holiday tuner now prepping for a Yuletide run on Broadway.It’ll be a return to the Rialto for Lauria (“The Wonder Years”), who starred as the title character in the 2010 production of “Lombardi.” The thesp’s current TV gig, “Sullivan and Son,” is exec produced by Peter Billingsley, the child star of the 1983 film version of “Christmas Story” and a producer of the stage incarnation. Lauria will play Jean Shepherd, the radio and TV humorist on whose books “Christmas Story” is based. A non-singing role, the Shepherd character serves as a narrator in the legit version. Further casting has yet to be set for the Main Stem production, one of a handful of shows this year aiming to capitalize on seasonal tourist biz. Like “Elf” (which will play at the Al Hirschfeld) and “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (set for a run at Madison Square Garden), “Christmas Story” is banking on the appeal of a familiar pop-culture property, with “Christmas Story” boosted by years as a staple of Christmas TV programming. The tuner version has songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“Dogfight”) with book by Joseph Robinette. Director John Rando (“Urinetown”) stages the show with choreographer Warren Carlyle (“Chaplin”). Musical is produced by a team led by Gerald Goehring, Roy Miller, Michael F. Mitri, Pat Flicker Addiss and Billingsley.