If you haven’t yet heard of the musical theater writing team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, you’re gonna. Since coming to public attention on youtube with their song cycle Edges, these baby geniuses have shot to fame with their contributions to the TV series Glee and the movie La-la land, as well as several stage works including the poignant Dogfight (one of the most memorable nights I’ve ever had in the theater) and the widely acclaimed Dear Evan Hanson.
Early in their career the team created a musicalized stage version of the popular holiday movie A Christmas Story. This is a charming recasting of a perennial favorite and offers a welcome contrast to the typical slew of various Christmas Carols. Along with the marvelous orchestrations by Larry Blank, this album always impresses me by Pasek and Paul’s ability to draw such broad, charming capital from the somewhat slight, introspective story.
Missing from this recording is the big Act 2 showstopper “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out”, which rightly received much acclaim in the press for both its rafter-rattling choreography and its tunefulness. This performance from that year’s Tony Awards features the original Broadway cast, including a passel of preternaturally talented baby hoofers.
Like premium hot chocolate, this show is tasty, rich and warming. Check it out via the image below: