Review: MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

You WILL believe that this show is good Christmas fun!

By: Nov. 20, 2021
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Review: MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

Dutch Apple Dinner Theater kicked off the holiday season with their current production of Miracle on 34th Street. I had assumed that this was a new musical based on the classic film, but after doing a little digging, it turns out it was written in 1963 by Meredith Wilson, creator of The Music Man. The show seems fresh with a few exceptions. Most notably, there is a patronizing love song called "Look, Little Girl" sung by the male lead.

People who are already fans of the film will find a lot to like about the show. Megan Urz plays the strong, independent Doris Walker. Cella Bernardi and Kennedy Mitchell alternate performances as her adorable and precocious daughter, Susan. Dale Givens is perfectly cast as Kris Kringle AKA Santa Claus, and Michael Santora is solid as leading man Fred Gailey.

Lancaster audience members will recognize and appreciate the antics of Jordon Ross Weinhold who plays the part of Macy's Department Store manager, Marvin Shellhammer. His character has the vocal tics of Paul Lynde and the manic physicality of Martin Short. Ross Weinhold brings a dynamic presence every time he appears on stage. It is a remarkable performance.

The play's dialogue and plot points are faithful to the classic movie's tale of proving the existence of Santa Claus. However, the music was not particularly memorable, with the exception of the rousing second act number That Man Over There is Santa Claus.

Overall, Miracle on 34th Street is an enjoyable and nostalgic way to celebrate the season. Tickets, menu items, and more information can be found on the theater's website.