|Basis||Film Miracle on 34th Street|
1963 Broadway2007 Toronto
Based on the classic film Miracle on 34th Street, it tells the tale of a skeptical little girl who doubts the existence of Santa Claus. When the real Kris Kringle inadvertently is hired to represent jolly St. Nick in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, he must convince the child and her cynical divorced mother (the department store's special events director) that he's the genuine article.
The Broadway production, directed by Stuart Ostrow and choreographed by Michael Kidd, opened on October 3, 1963 at the Shubert Theatre, and closed on July 25, 1964 after 334 performances and 2 previews. The cast included Laurence Naismith, Janis Paige, Craig Stevens, Lisa Kirk, Fred Gwynne, Kathy Cody, Michael Bennett, and Baayork Lee. The original director, Norman Jewison, was replaced by Ostrow, the producer, during rehearsals.
The Toronto Civic Light Opera Company has produced Here's Love twice, with significant musical and book revisions by artistic director, Joe Cascone. Their first production ran in December 1994, and a more elaborate staging was presented in December 2007.
According to MTI Shows, this musical has been retitled Miracle on 34th Street the Musical. The song "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" was written by Willson in 1951 and used in the musical where it is sung in counterpoint to the newly composed "Pinecones and Holly Berries".
Susan Walker and her mother, Doris, live alone in New York in the 1960s. Doris works in an executive position at Macy's and, at the start of the musical, is busy organizing the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Susan meets an ex-marine named Fred Gaily, who takes it upon himself to rid her of her "realistic" outlook on life by taking her to see Santa Claus at Macy's. Kris (Santa) manages to win Susan over while love blooms between Fred and Doris. The second act sees Kris appearing in the New York Supreme Court, with Fred helping him defend his sanity. In the conclusion, Fred uses the Post Office to prove to the court (and the world) that Santa Claus does exist: Kris Kringle is he.
Original Broadway cast and characters
- Valerie Lee - Susan Walker
- Janis Paige - Doris Walker
- Laurence Naismith - Kris Kringle (Santa)
- Craig Stevens - Fred Gaily
- Fred Gwynne - Mr. Shellhammer
- Paul Reed - Mr. Macy
- Kathy Cody - Hendrika
- Jewison, Norman. This Terrible Business Has Been Good To Me, Macmillan (2005), ISBN 0-312-32868-0, pp.59-60
- "What's On: Holiday Events", thestar.com, November 22, 2007
- MTI listing accessed July 30, 2011
- Meredith Willson bio, greatstreets.org, accessed January 18, 2009
- Connema, Richard.Review, Here's Love, www.talkinbroadway.com, January 16, 2002