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“Miracle on 34th Street, the Play”:  The power to believe

South Boston News / October 09, 2017

The power to believe is a mighty thing. Whether it’s children believing in fairy tales, people believing in their faith, or Halloween tales of fright, believing is ‘seeing.’ That is the basis for Halifax County Little Theatre’s “Miracle on 34th Street, the Play,” based on the popular movie in 1947, adapted from the novel by Valentine Davies. The show will run at The Prizery Nov. 17-26.

“Miracle on 34th Street, the Play” follows the movie faithfully, with the doubting woman and her young disillusioned child, the faith of those who believe, and all the people who work to prove one side or the other of “Is Kris Kringle Santa Claus?” And in the middle of this all, is “the man,” Kris Kringle himself, or Santa Claus.

Directed by Kasey Renae Moore, the stage play is faithful to the show many have come to love and watch year after year, except the stage show is set in New York City in modern times. Set between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, all the main characters are brought to the stage: the children wanting to see Santa, the parade watchers, the lead characters and the Macy’s employees, all down to the doubting disillusioned fuddy-duddies.

“Christmas is my favorite. And “Miracle on 34th Street” was my favorite childhood Christmas movie. I am thrilled to get to bring this show to life. This is such a unique cast with many new faces coming to the HCLT stage,” Moore said.

Playing the young Macy’s personnel manager Doris Walker is Liza Griffin, and Walker’s young daughter Susan is portrayed by Yasmine Ahmed. Ryland Clark has taken the role of Walker’s neighbor friend and lawyer Fred, who tries to help Kris Kringle.

There are lots of Macy’s employees, shoppers and town citizens, played by Kelly Desclos-Estes, Sandy Slayton, Kelly Ahmed, Jennifer Nunn, Timothy Coleman, Jared Smith, Rilee Daniels, Jayda Younger, and Elisabeth Brogden. Devin Hall portrays Mr. Macy, and Steve Raper portrays Mr. Bloomingdale, the Macy’s competition head.

Kynnedy Riley, Luke McKinney, Paige Shelton, Halle Beadles, Ma’Kiya Palmer, Nathan Covington, Caraline Spell, Leah Griffin, Emma McKinney, and Mark Sydnor portray children in the show, and other local townspeople include Erica Taylor, McKayla Moxcey, Molly Nunn, Toni Covington, Jennifer Sydnor, TeLisa McKinney and Jayda Younger.

The courtroom scene is a mighty scene in the movie, and it is again in the stage version. Portraying Judge Harper is Randy Holmes, with T. Wayne Daniels portraying his political campaign manager. Other courtroom participants are Jessica Young, Jeremy Duffer, Timothy Coleman, and Molly Nunn, and post office personnel are portrayed by Clinton McKinney and Erica Taylor.

Halifax County Little Theatre is thrilled to have Kris Kringle portrayed, naturally, by Santa Claus. Since the show is being held in November, Santa has graciously agreed to fly into town to do the production. He has many elves and assistants at the North Pole who can continue working while he pops in to South Boston for a few performances to portray himself. Little Theatre is very fortunate and grateful for his assistance.

“This cast is working hard, and we are laughing a lot together as we prepare to bring some of the joys of Christmas to life. I am just as excited about opening night as I am about putting up my Christmas tree – and that’s a lot,” Moore said.

Halifax County Little Theatre’s special holiday show is clearly meant for the whole family, visiting Thanksgiving company, and all ages. The show opens Friday, Nov. 17, and runs for two weekends, ending on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 26. Evening shows are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 3 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students and are on sale at The Prizery at 434-572-8339 or Remember: Seeing is believing.

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