The Saturday Night Live alum has signed on to star in Fox’s A Christmas Story live musical production, it was announced Tuesday at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour.
Rudolph will play Ralphie Parker’s mother in the telecast, with additional casting to be announced at a later date.
Based on the short stories of Midwestern humorist Jean Shepherd, the musical is set in the 1940s, when all 9-year-old Ralphie wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB gun. The film follows Ralphie and his family’s various holiday-themed adventures, which include a terrible trip to visit the department store Santa, his younger brother’s disgusting eating habits (or lack thereof) and his dad’s infatuation with an obnoxious lamp made to look like a woman’s leg.
Released in 1983, A Christmas Story earned less than $20 million at the box office but went on to become a cult classic, playing in a 24-hour loop every Christmas on TBS and TNT for the past two decades. Spurred by the popularity of the film, A Christmas Story: The Musical debuted on Broadway in 2012 and went on to earn three Tony nominations.
Marc Platt, who executive produced Fox’s critical and commercial success Grease Live in 2016, will serve in the same capacity on A Christmas Story. He is joined by fellow exec producer Adam Siegel (the Broadway revival of The King and I), with Jonathan Tolins and Robert Cary (Grease Live) serving as co-exec producers and writers.
Oscar- and Tony-winning duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul of La La Land and Dear Evan Hansen wrote the original music for A Christmas Story: The Musical and will compose several new songs for the event.
For Rudolph, the role brings her back to Fox, where she recently had arcs on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and, before that, The Grinder. Her other credits include the NBC variety show Maya & Marty, Bridesmaids and Up All Night.She is repped by WME and Hirsch Wallerstein.
While NBC was the first to test the waters of live musicals with Sound of Music Live and Peter Pan Live, more broadcast networks are looking to enter the mix as a way to draw more live viewers. NBC will actually sit out this holiday season for the first time since 2013, as it was forced to delay its planned live version of Bye Bye Birdie due to star and executive producer Jennifer Lopez’s busy schedule. However, it also has a live version of Jesus Christ Superstar set for Easter Sunday — which Platt is also set to exec produce — in addition to its first live play: A Few Good Men, headlined by Emmy winner Alec Baldwin.
A Christmas Story: The Musical is set to air Dec. 17 on Fox.
Source; The Hollywood Reporter