Two young local actors join 'A Christmas Story' tour in Denver

Video by David Lenk and John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

Kaden Hinkle and Katie Phipps, two young but seasoned Denver stage professionals, have been chosen from a local audition to perform as part of the ensemble when the national touring production of A Christmas Story, The Musical plays The Buell Theatre this December.

Each actor will perform in seven performances in Denver. Hinkle, 12, will perform in all shows from Dec. 18-21, and Phipps, 11, will perform in all shows Dec. 22-27 (except Christmas Eve). They will join the 12 young actors who travel with the show. And Dance Captain Brooke Martino said their work will be significant.

Katie Phipps and Kaden Hinkle “They will be in the opening number, the closing number, and three or four in-between,” she said. “So they don’t walk on, wave and walk off. They are in it a lot.”

A Christmas Story, The Musical holds an open audition in most cities where the show tours, providing an opportunity for two local actors to join the show. About two dozen kids auditioned at the DCPA on Sunday for the Denver run.

While Phipps and Hinkle will not appear onstage together in A Christmas Story, The Musical, this will be the third time the two young actors have performed together on metro stages. They both appeared in the Arvada Center’s 2013 holiday production of A Christmas Carol, and just recently they played siblings Jane and Michael Banks in Mary Poppins for BDT Stage.  

A Christmas Story, The Musical, which played on Broadway in 2012, follows young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker as he schemes his way toward the holiday gift of his dreams, an official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle (“You’ll shoot your eye out kid!”). An infamous leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a maniacal department store Santa, and a double-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the distractions that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas wish.

Kaden Hinkle, left, and Katie Phipps at an audition Sunday for ‘A Christmas Story, The Musical.’ Photos by Emily Lozow.

The musical, of course, is based on the beloved film made in 1983 – long before either Phipps or Hinkle were born. But they are both big fans of the movie. Phipps’ favorite part: “When he gets his tongue stuck to the pole,” she said. Hinkle’s: “When he shoots the air rifle at the end – and it hits him in the eye.”

Phipps has also performed in Grey Gardens at the Vintage Theatre, Annie with the Evergreen Players and Red Ranger Came Calling at the Aurora Fox.

Hinkle was in the Denver premiere of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson for Ben Dicke Productions at the Aurora Fox, Miracle on 34th Street and Tarzan the Musical at the Arvada Center and Peter Pan at the Parker Arts Center (PACE). That means the pair have worked alongside some of the most accomplished actors and directors in the local theatre community, including Megan Van De Hey, Gavin Mayer, Scott Beyette, Rod Lansberry, Stephen Day, David Nehls, Norrell Moore, Michael J. Duran, Tracey Warren, Wayne Kennedy, Robert Michael Sanders, Jack Wefso, Boni McIntyre and many more.

(Photo above right: Katie Phipps, Dance Captain Brooke Martino and Kaden Hinkle on Monday after landing roles in  ‘A Christmas Story, The Musical.’ Photo by John Moore.) 

Phipps said working with people of that caliber has boosted her self-esteem as an actor.

“I am so glad I got to work with all of them,” Hinkle added, “because they all helped me  to get to this point.”

Photos from the Denver auditions for ‘A Christmas Story, the Musical.’ Photos by John Moore and Emily Lozow.

A Christmas Story, The Musical: Ticket information

  • Performances Dec. 16-27
  • Buell Theatre
  • 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • TTY: 303-893-9582
  • Groups of 15 or more: 303-446-4829
  • Also: Purchase in person at The Denver Center Ticket Office, located at the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex lobby. Buy and print online at
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