ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — “A Christmas Story: The Musical,” based on the 1983 film, will be presented at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn from Nov. 25 to Jan. 3. The book is by Joseph Robinette, with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. The performance will be directed by Brandon Ivie and choreographed by Mara Newbery Greer.
In the musical, Ralphie wants only one thing for Christmas: an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle. The plot involves Ralphie’s quest to ensure that this most perfect of gifts ends up under his tree this Christmas. This musical is suitable for children and adults.
The show will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973-376-4343.
Paper Mill Playhouse will offer audio-described performances on Saturday, Dec. 19, and Sunday, Dec. 20, at 1:30 p.m. Prior to these performances at noon, the theater will offer free sensory seminars. Sensory seminars offer an opportunity for patrons with vision loss to hear a live, in-depth description of the production elements of the show along with hands-on interaction with key sets, props, and costumes. A sign-interpreted and open-captioned performance will be on Sunday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m.
Paper Mill also will offer a special autism-friendly performance of “A Christmas Story: The Musical,” on Tuesday, Dec. 29, at 1:30 p.m. This performance is designed specifically for children on the autism spectrum or with other developmental disabilities, and is planned in cooperation with autism advisory team of the theater. This is the third time Paper Mill has expanded its autism-friendly performances to a mainstage production following successful performances of “Elf” and “The Little Mermaid.” The theater environment will be altered for this performance, providing a sensory-friendly, comfortable and judgment-free space that is welcoming to families.
The performance itself will be adjusted with special attention paid to lighting and sound.
Additionally, Paper Mill will host a free open house titled “Meet Your Seat” on Monday, Dec. 28, from 4 to 6 p.m. This is an opportunity for children who are new to the theatrical experience to visit the theater space before the show. Often children with autism or other developmental disabilities become anxious in new surroundings and new experiences and they need time to make the transition.
The Meet Your Seat open house provides an opportunity for children to come to the theater in advance of the performance and take time to feel comfortable in this new space.