byline Germaine Hupe
The members of the Winters Theatre Company have selected “Miracle on 34th Street” as this year’s holiday production. Many people have enjoyed the 1947 film version of this Christmas classic which tells the story of kindly, old Kris Kringle, who thinks he is Santa Claus. Or is he?
The question of Kris’ identity forms the major plot of “Miracle” as he is hired as Macy’s Santa Claus in the large New York City store. There Kris finds himself entangled in store politics, the love life of his cynical boss Doris Walker and the disbelief of her precocious seven-year old daughter Susan.
As the plot unfolds, Mr. Kringle is shanghaied to the psychiatric ward of Bellvue Hospital by the machinations of Macy’s vocational counselor and defended in a sensational court competency hearing by young Fred Gayley, who believes that Kris represents the joy of Christmas for children and the generosity of spirit which the season brings.
The original screen play of “Miracle on 34th Street” was written by Valentine Davies. Following the success of the film, Davies wrote a novel on the same subject, thus reversing the usual formula of the novel first and then the film version.
The stage version which WTC is using was adapted from the novel by the Mountain Community Theatre of Ben Lomond, California.