The Footlight Players will perform a beloved holiday classic this season as they bring to stage “Miracle on 34th Street.” Based on the 1947 Oscar-winning film of the same title, this family friendly performance runs Dec. 4-20 at the historic Footlight Players Theatre.
In this musical production, Kris Kringle takes on the cynics in this story of a lovable white-bearded gentleman who claims to be the real Santa Claus. Written by Meredith Willson, author of “The Music Man” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” the story follows Kris Kringle as he spreads a wave of love throughout New York City, fostering camaraderie between Macy’s and Gimble’s department stores and convincing a cynical, single mother and her somber daughter that there is indeed a Santa Claus.
Shows are at 8 p.m. Dec. 4-5, Dec. 11-12 and Dec. 17-19 and at 3 p.m. Dec. 6, Dec. 13 and Dec. 20. Tickets are $35 for adults; $32 for seniors/military, $25 for students and $15 for children. Order tickets online at footlightplayers.net or by calling the box office at 843-722-4487.
The original film starred Maureen O'Hara as Doris Walker, Macy's special events director and mother to young Susan, played by Natalie Wood. Edmund Gwenn played the role of Kris Kringle.
In 1963 a musical adaptation of the film opened on Broadway. Originally titled “Here’s Love,” it was later renamed to the more recognizable “Miracle on 34th Street.” The film version also was redone in 1994.
Thomas Keating, director the theater program at Charleston Southern University, is directing “Miracle on 34th Street” for the Footlight Players. He previously directed “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “A Christmas Carol” and last year’s musical version of “It’s a Wonderful Life” titled “Miracle in Bedford Falls.”
“Christmas shows seem to be my forte of late,” Keating said. “Maybe it’s when I’m free or that I am somehow ‘destined’ to direct the family friendly and holiday, joy-inspiring fare. I’m not sure. But, it’s always a joy for me to gather a community of people together to celebrate the season.”
Also working on the play are choreographer Mary Fishburne and musical director Anne Warf.
The theater will be decorated for the holiday season including Charleston area children’s holiday-inspired artwork on display in the lobby. Any elementary school-age children in the tri-county are invited to submit their artwork. The deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20. Submissions may be any size paper and can be dropped off or mailed to the theater at 20 Queen St., Charleston, SC 29401. For questions, call the box office at 843-722-4487.