After a nationwide search, A Christmas Story, The Musical has selected Johnny Rabe, a 12-year-old from Chicago, to fill out the bright pink bunny suit as the show’s leading youngster Ralphie. Rabe will be joined in the role by Joe West, a Los Angeles native who will play Ralphie at certain performances.
Rabe will be making his Broadway debut in the show, after having played one of Ralphie’s classmates in the show’s 2011 national tour. Though he was too young for the role last year, producers kept a close eye on Rabe and gave him the coveted role this year.
West will also be making his Broadway debut after catching the producers’ eye with his online video submission (the nationwide search encouraged young actors to submit homemade audition tapes).
The cast for A Christmas Story also includes Erin Dilly, John Bolton, Zac Ballard, Caroline O’Connor, Eddie Korbich and Dan Lauria. The ensemble for the production features Tia Altinay, John Babbo, Charissa Bertels, Grace Capeless, Zoe Considine, Andrew Cristi, Mathew deGuzman, Thay Flloyd, George Franklin, Nick Gaswirth, Mark Ledbetter, Jose Luaces, Jack Mastrianni, Mara Newbery, Lindsay O’Neil, Sarah Min-Kyung Park, J.D. Rodriguez, Analise Scarpaci, Lara Seibert, Jeremy Shinder, Luke Spring, Beatrice Tulchin, and Kirsten Wyatt.
Based on the 1983 holiday classic, A Christmas Story begins its limited engagement at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on November 5, with opening night set for November 19 and closing night on December 30.
Here's hoping Rabe doesn't shoot his eye out!