There are many Christmas stories.
But there is only one “A Christmas Story: The Musical!”
And — when it opens officially this Thursday (Dec. 9) at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre — the adaptation of the 1983 film about a young boy and his dream present (an air rifle) will boast the best gift around: an original score by Broadway’s “hottest young composer/lyricist team,” Pasek and Paul.
As in Westport’s own Justin Paul.
The musical had a successful run last year at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. But the Seattle producers wanted a new score. Justin and Benj submitted a couple of songs on spec, and earlier this year signed a deal.
“We’re strangely drawn to stories of boys on a mission,” says Justin — a 2003 Staples graduate who, with his songwriting partner, are on a mission themselves to scale musical theater’s highest peaks.
Rehearsals began last month. The 5th Avenue Theatre is a major launching pad for Broadway runs and national tours.
Pasek and Paul are no strangers to top-notch musical theater. The duo’s 1st show, “Edges,” has been produced internationally. Their commissions include “Dogfight” (Lincoln Center Theater) and Broadway’s upcoming “White Noise.”
They are the youngest winners of the Jonathan Larson Award, and were listed as part of the “50 to Watch” up-and-coming writers by The Dramatist Magazine. They were interviewed on National Public Radio, and their music has been broadcast on Sirius XM’s On Broadway Channel.
The duo has played sold-out concerts across America at venues including The Kennedy Center in Washington, Joe’s Pub in New York, the Falcon Theater in Los Angeles, and Australia’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
But you don’t have to go Down Under — or even cross-country — to enjoy Justin Paul’s many talents.
On Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 18 and 19, the Broadway Boys comes to the Westport Country Playhouse. Justin’s the musical director and keyboardist for this great pop-funk-gospel-jazz-folk-show tunes-classic pop-and-holiday songs extravaganza.
(Click here for a YouTube interview with Pasek and Paul about “A Christmas Story.)