Miracle on 34th Street makes a welcome return to the Chemainus Theatre after more than 10 years. (Chemainus Theatre photo)

Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street returns to Chemainus stage for the holidays

‘Miracle on 34th Street: heartwarming story is back after more than a decade away

A beloved Christmas classic, Miracle on 34th Street, takes to the Chemainus Theatre stage Nov. 15 to Dec. 29.

Christmas is a special time for family traditions and many families gather together to watch Miracle on 34th Street on TV during the holiday season. This year, audiences can build on this tradition and make it a family outing with the live production of this yuletide classic holiday production.

Doris Walker, a single mother, doesn’t want the mind of her six-year-old daughter Susan to be filled with fairy tales and romantic notions. Enter Fred Gailey, their neighbour, who tries to woo Doris’s affection by taking Susan to see Santa Claus at Macy’s, where Doris works.

Though Doris is not impressed, it turns out Kris Kringle, the retired old man hired as Macy’s Santa in New York may just be the real thing. As he spreads Christmas cheer by directing parents to other stores, where they can find the exact gift on their child’s Christmas list at the best price, he threatens the commercialization of Christmas.

Business sharks try to have Kris committed. The stakes are raised with a court competency hearing and the risk of one little girl’s belief in Santa. When the court confirms Kris as the true Santa, both children and adults alike experience the delight of childhood fantasy.

There are several versions behind the mythology of Kris Kringle. He has other names: Santa Claus, Father Christmas, and St. Nicholas, to name a few. While there are versions of St. Nicholas’s story, and debate about which version is true, it is agreed that he was the original inspiration behind the “Santa Claus” phenomenon that we know today.

A common version of St. Nicholas was that he was a wealthy bishop who lived in the fourth century, in what is now known as Turkey. He was a kind and humble man who had a reputation for helping the poor and giving secret gifts to people who needed them. While he begged those he helped not to tell anyone, as he didn’t want any attention, news got out. Due to his kindness, he was made into a saint.

After the reformation in Europe, the myths that had come to surround St. Nicholas were no longer popular, but the tradition had to be kept alive — someone had to deliver presents to children at Christmas time. In England, he became Father Christmas or Old Man Christmas. In France: Père Noël. In Germany and parts of Austria: Christkind symbolized the newborn baby Jesus.

In the United States, where the story takes place, one of Santa’s names was Kris Kringle.

Different parts of the world debate some of the finer points of the Santa Claus myth, but a few details hold true no matter where you are in the world. Most importantly, he brings smiles and jolly Christmas cheer.

This joyous, heartwarming show will drench you with the Christmas spirit. Directed by Kaitlin Williams, the cast consists of Abraham Asto (Fred Gailey), Tim Dixon, Brett Harris, Matthew Hendrickson, Mallory James, Hal Kerbes (Kris Kringle), Michelle Morris (Doris Walker), Jan Wood, and a young company.

Call the Box Office at 1-800-565-7738 or visit chemainustheatre.ca to book your tickets.

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