COLONIE Two local youths are heading to Broadway for Christmas this year.
George Franklin, 12, and Jack Mastrianni, 13, joined the cast of the new Broadway musical, “A Christmas Story,” which runs from Nov. 5 to Dec. 30. The new show is based on the 1983 classic comedy about 9-year-old Ralphie Parker, who is determined to get a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas.
The musical, which will premier at the Lunt Fontanne Theatre in Manhattan, is directed by Tony-award-winner John Rando, choreographed by Warren Carlyle and produced by Peter Billingsley, who originally played Ralphie in the movie. The musical score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul adds songs that are “both funny and heartfelt,” according to the show’s website.
The majority of the cast is kids, and Franklin, of Colonie, and Mastrianni, of Slingerlands, have significant roles. Mastrianni will play Scut Farkus, the local bully.
“I’ll probably have to take some acting classes to find my ‘inner bully,’” Mastrianni said. “It’s gonna be really fun though to play the villain … to be something you’re not.”
Franklin will have a “swing role” – covering four different characters: Scut, Schwartz, Flick and Grover. He must be ready throughout each show to be able to adapt to any role at any time.
The actors will also sing and dance in the play, but for now, only weeks before rehearsals begin, both boys said they still haven’t grasped the fact that they’ve made it to Broadway.
“I think it’s amazing, and I’m really, really excited,” Franklin said. “I still can’t believe that I got in.”
It hasn’t been easy to get to the big stage. Both Franklin and Mastrianni have worked hard, dedicating years with many local theaters, including the Park Playhouse, Cohoes Music Hall and Capital Repertory Theatre. They have also taken workshops and extensive audition training.