by Lorie Lewis Ham
The classic Christmas story Miracle on 34th Street opened this past weekend at the Enchanted Playhouse in Visalia’s Main Street Theater and my son and I had the pleasure of being there.
For those rare few who are not familiar with this classic story, Kris Kringle ends up at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade just when they are in need of a new Santa and reluctantly takes on the job. He then becomes the store Santa; all the while insisting he is indeed the real Santa Claus. Kris positively impacts the Christmas spirit when he starts telling people where they can get better deals on gifts even when it’s at other stores—a move some think will get him fired. He also begins impacting the lives of those around him at Macy’s, especially one of the managers in the store who was in charge of the parade, Doris Walker, her little girl Susan, and her friend Fred. Things get crazy when Kris has to prove in court that he really is Santa, all leading up to a heartwarming and miraculous ending.
While I had never seen this show on stage before, I remember watching the classic movie and at least one of its remakes, many, many times since I was a child. It’s definitely one of those feel good kind of stories that’s perfect for putting you in the holiday mood and a great show for the entire family.
This was a cute production of the show and worth including in your holiday activities. There are two girls playing Susan and the time we were there she was played by Ashlee Dysart who was adorable and a standout in the show—one of my favorites. I also enjoyed Fred played by Justin Allen and Doris played by Jennifer Range, whom I’m certain I have seen on stage before. Jim Luke made a quite believable Kris Kringle/Santa Claus, beard and all—I almost expect him to come down my chimney this year. Everyone did a good job, with my only complaint being occasional sound issues since they weren’t wearing microphones—so I recommend sitting near the front.
If you’re looking to enjoy some holiday cheer with an old classic, I encourage you to take the entire family out to see Miracle On 34th Street at Main Street Theater in Visalia. Tickets are only $7—you can’t even go to the movies for that little anymore. More details can be found on their KRL theatre page and on their website. You can also check out a past article in KRL on the history of The Enchanted Playhouse.
Watch for another Local Live every Wednesday at 7 p.m.! Next up for Enchanted is Little Mermaid in February 2012.