The Old Grantsville Church Dinner Theatre will usher in the Christmas season with a presentation of the classic comedy-drama “Miracle on 34th Street.”
“Every Christmas, we try to choose something that our community members are already familiar with, something heart-warming and uplifting, something that touches on the spirit of love and generosity that are so prevalent at this time of year,” said director Macae Wanberg. “‘Miracle on 34th Street’ combines all of these things and adds a bit of holiday magic”
The play opens Thursday night.
Wanberg said the play will be the non-musical version, although Christmas carols will be sung by the actors during scene changes.
“We typically have a shorter period of time to prepare our Christmas play than we have to prepare other plays throughout the year, so doing the non-musical version with Christmas carols the cast already knew was a better fit,” she said.
The play is adapted by Mountain Community Theater from the novel written in 1947 by Valentine Davis.
By chance, Kris Kringle, an old man in a retirement home, gets a job working as Santa for Macy’s. Kris unleashes waves of good will with Macy’s customers and the commercial world of New York City by referring parents to other stores to find exactly the toy their child has asked for, according to a synopsis from the play’s publisher.
Seen as deluded and dangerous by Macy’s vocational counselor, who plots to have Kris shanghaied to Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital, Kris ends up in a court competency hearing. Especially at stake is one little girl’s belief in Santa. In a dramatic decision, the court confirms Kris as the true Santa, allowing Susan and countless other children to experience the joy of childhood fantasy.
Byron Hinkley plays the role of Kris Kringle in the Grantsville production.
“This play is a wonderful chance to work with great young people and make people smile,” Hinkley said. “I’ve been watching ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ since I was young. Playing Kris Kringle is really an honor. Who wouldn’t want to be Santa Claus?”
Other main characters include Doris Walker, personnel manager at Macy’s, played by Holly Cox; Susan Walker, Doris’ daughter, age 7, played by Claire Cowley; and Fred Gayley, lawyer, neighbor, friend to the Walkers, played by Dan Ogden.
The play runs Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday with two performances on Saturday. Thursday and Monday starting times are 7 p.m. and Saturday’s matinee starts at 1 p.m. Dinner shows are Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Doors open 30 minutes prior to curtain time.
Patrons can attend any of the performances without the purchase of dinner. Cost for dinner is $22 per person. Dinner on Friday will be provided by Costa Vida Taco Bar, and on Saturday by Dickey’s BBQ beef brisket.
Non-dinner prices are $10 adults, $8 seniors and $7 children. Seating is in order of ticket purchase or reservation. To buy tickets online, visit eventbrite.com. To reserve seats and pay at the door, call or text 435-241-8131.
Santa Claus will also be available for visits on Saturday before he stars in the show.
Santa will visit with kids from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. before the matinee performance, and again from 5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. before the evening performance. Any children from the community are still welcome to visit Santa at no cost, whether or not they will be attending the play. For more info, call or text 435-241-8131.
The Old Grantsville Church is located at 297 W. Clark St.