Ana Gasteyer Reveals There’s a New Hanukkah Song in ‘A Christmas Story Live!’ (Exclusive)
By Leigh Scheps
Hanukkah will be part of A Christmas Story Live!, Fox’s upcoming live musical event.
“They’ve written a really fun Hanukkah number. The music is fantastic,” Ana Gasteyer told ET at the Double Standards concert in New York City on Sunday benefiting women's rights, health and empowerment. “Even though A Christmas Story is clearly a Christmas story -- it’s fun to have a Hanukkah song join the ranks of the Christmas songs in the musical. I think everybody felt like it can really be a holiday experience.”
The Saturday Night Live alum will play Mrs. Schwartz in the production, inspired by the 1983 holiday classic feature film A Christmas Story and Ben Pasek and Justin Paul’s 2012 Broadway adaptation. It follows the exploits of youngster Ralphie Parker, who spends most of his time dodging a bully and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift: a "red Ryder air rifle." Gasteyer appears alongside her former SNL co-star, Maya Rudolph (Mrs. Parker), Matthew Broderick (Narrator, older Ralphie), Jane Krakowski (Miss Shields) and Chris Diamantopoulos (Ralphie’s dad).
The new song for Gasteyer’s character, which was an off-camera role in the film, is written by Pasek and Paul, the composing team that won an Oscar, Golden Globe and Tony within the last year for La La Land and Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen. It’s one of several new songs Pasek and Paul are writing for the live television event to supplement their Tony-nominated original score and book adapted by Jonathan Tolins and Robert Cary (Fox’s Grease: Live!). The live broadcast will take place on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, California, and is produced by some of the same team that brought Grease: Live! to TV, where Gasteyer played principal Mrs. McGee.
The Mean Girls star, who left for the West Coast this week to start rehearsals, initially promised herself she wouldn’t work this fall because of her busy schedule this past year on Netflix’s Lady Dynamite, which returned with a second season on Nov. 10. “This thing comes along [and] it’s like a true, moral dilemma because it’s so much fun,” she explains. “It’s old and familiar faces for me in terms of working. [It] just doesn’t feel quite like a job. It feels more like a singing opportunity for three weeks in Los Angeles.”
A Christmas Story Live! premieres Sunday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. ET on Fox.