‘Miracle on 34th Street’ comes to Stone’s Throw


Nathan Carter

Kris Kringle (Doug Dickey) replaces a drunken Santa Clause at Macy’s Department Store. Here he sings with a Danish girl, Maryke (Chole), in Danish.

With a cast of 30 and a completely sold out venue for every night of the show, Stone’s Throw Theatre’s presentation of Miracle on 34th Street is ready to go.

Betsy Fleischaker, co director of the show, discussed the history of the holiday classic. The most famous version was done with Natalie Wood, but there was a screen adaptation prior to that in the 1940s. The theatre has decided to stick with the original script verbatim.

“It’s about an old man who believes he’s Santa Clause and the rest of the city doesn’t believe in Santa Clause, and this one little girl who doesn’t believe needs him,” she said. “He slowly starts to get her to believe, and they end up having a trial to prove he’s Santa Clause.”

One difference audiences may notice is the set. The background artwork is hand painted on a rotating background, much like billboards and movie advertisements. This was done to create quick scene changes.

” There are 38 scenes, which is just outrageous,” Fleischaker said. “After one scene is done, that part of the set is stricken and the set is turned and changed to a different scene. It takes the audience having to bear with us in (the scene changes).

“We were initially going to use one and just change between the toy department and the courtroom, but it was so popular that we decided to go ahead and do two and make the scenes easier to change and make it easier on the audience by changing the pictures instead of using imaginations.”

Another thing that makes this play difficult is the use of children in the play, 10 of which are small children, but Tom Brown, who plays Mr. Sawyer, said these children are well behaved on set.

“It’s been surprisingly organized actually,” he said. “We have several kids in the cast backstage and on stage and Betty (Bell) and Betsy have done a really good job of making the kids understand they can’t get backstage and roughhouse. For the most part it’s been pretty good.

“It could get quite chaotic but for the most part they’re in good shape. The adults are probably more of a problem than the kids.”

Tickets are sold out, but for information on future shows and pre-purchasing, please call 358-9665.