Jane Krakowski has the honor of delivering the most iconic line from the 1983 classic Christmas film A Christmas Story. In her role as Ralphie’s teacher Miss Shields, in A Christmas Story Live, Krakowski warns Ralphie Parker about the gift he most desires. Parker hopes to get a Red Ryer Carbine Action Range Model Air Rifle BB Gun for Christmas and many advise against it. Miss Shields warns Parker, “You’ll shoot your eye out,” which is one of the most well-known lines from the film. And, not only does Krakowski deliver this line, she also has an entire musical number surrounding it. It even involves a big tap-dancing number. This live musical production is based on the 2012 A Christmas Story: The Musical production, which is actually a musical version of the original A Christmas Story movie.
In an interview with People, Krakowski dished on her role as Shields, saying, “I play Miss Shields, who is Ralphie’s teacher, and I love the actress who played her in the original movie. I loved how much she was utilized in Ralphie’s fantasy life — it was one of my favorite parts of the movie — and they have expanded that a bit in the musical telling.” Krakowski also said, “I have been nervously excited because I do a very large tap number, and I haven’t tapped since I was about 12 years old. There’s not much call for tap dancing these days, but because this musical is based in the ’40s, we have celebrated the old-fashioned joy of tap from back in the day. When we first talked about it he [director Scott Ellis] said to me, ‘It’s definitely a dance number, but I don’t think it necessarily has to all be tap.’ And now that it’s we’re in it, I don’t think there’s one move that isn’t tap. But I love it and it is highly aerobic.”
Over the years, Krakowski has been known for her roles on Ally McBeal, 30 Rock and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, though Romper reports she does have a background in Broadway. When speaking with the NY Times, Krakowski talked about her role in A Christmas Story Live, saying, “Miss Shields has been developed in a wonderfully humorous way. One of my favorite parts from the movie was how involved she was with Ralphie’s fantasy life, and that is something that television can expand more than on the Broadway stage. They’ve made Miss Shields cater more to the actress that they’ve hired, which is always lovely.” Krakowski also revealed that she is a bit nervous for the live broadcast and even had a stumble during a rehearsal. In addition to Krakowski, the cast of A Christmas Story Live is made up a many familiar stars. Some of the other actors include Matthew Broderick, Maya Rudolph, Bebe Rexha, Ana Gasteyer, Ken Jeong, David Alan Grier and several others.