The producers of A Christmas Story, The Musical have announced that Dan Lauria will star as radio icon Jean Shepherd in the production when it arrives on Broadway at The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre for its November 5 – December 30 engagement. Last seen on Broadway in the title role of Lombardi, 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." (Peter Billingsley, the film's original 'Ralphie,' is a producer of both A Christmas Story, The Musical and "Sullivan & Son.")
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.
"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," says Lauria. "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."
"We are thrilled to welcome Dan Lauria back to Broadway in the role of Jean Shepherd," says producer Gerald Goehring. "Just as previous generations invited Shepherd into their living rooms over the radio, TV audiences tuned in to see Lauria on 'The Wonder Years' with its nostalgic stories of a young, American family coming of age. Jean Shepherd is the heart of A Christmas Story, The Musical and Dan is a perfect fit to play the role of this iconic storyteller."
Dan is best known as the gruff Dad on the Emmy Award-winning ABC series "The Wonder Years." This season he starred in the new hit series "Sullivan & Son," which has just been renewed for a second season. In 2010-2011, Dan made his Broadway debut as the titular, legendary Green Bay Packers coach in the Tony-nominated Lombardi. An actor's actor, Dan is committed to theatre and actively nurtures emerging voices and talent, having performed, written or directed over fifty professional productions. His stage work includes The Guys, Ears On A Beatle, The Winning Streak, Inspecting Carol, A Stone Carver, The Price, and Men In Suits. For ten years, Dan served as the Artistic Director of The Playwright's Kitchen Ensemble (PKE) of Los Angeles. PKE produced over 450 public readings of new plays with the finest actors in the business, in order to promote the development of the new American playwright. Since his memorable debut as Gus, the Killer Pimp on daytime's "One Life To Live," Dan has played more than eighty roles on television series including "Harry's Law," "Nurse Jackie," "How I Met Your Mother," "Perception," "NCIS: LA," "CSI," "From Earth to the Moon" (miniseries), and "Law and Order" ("SVU" and "Criminal Intent") and over twenty television movies. Dan's score of film credits include The Spirit, Independence Day, both Stakeout films (starring Richard Dreyfuss), and Big Momma Two with Martin Lawrence.
Additional casting for A Christmas Story, The Musical will be announced soon.