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‘Miracle on 34th Street–a Live Musical Radio Play’ brings old-fashioned charm to Lancaster Opera House

Get into the holiday spirit with the Lancaster Opera House presentation of “Miracle on 34th Street –A Live Musical Radio Play,” Nov. 23- Dec. 8.


When a department store Santa claims he’s the real Kris Kringle, his case gets taken to court and a little girl’s belief makes the difference in the “miracle.” But you’ve never seen or heard a version of “Miracle on 34th Street” like this. Boasting an original score–plus jazzy arrangements of popular Christmas songs–this timeless story of skepticism and faith is told from an old-school radio studio, complete with improvised Foley sound effects. 


Adapted from the 1947 Lux Radio broadcast by Lance Smith, with an original score by Jon Lorenz including vintage commercial jingles, “Miracle on 34th Street–A Live Musical Radio Play” will melt even the most cynical of hearts. Smith and Lorenz speak of the “need for faith in something; not necessarily religious faith, but the kind of faith from which hope springs. All the characters in ‘Miracle On 34th Street,’ from young Susan up to Mr. Macy himself, suffer from a crisis of faith. Our job was to help them out of the dark labyrinth and shine a light on the discovery of the miracle; here less a fateful stroke of magic, but rather the result of how faith and support in your fellow human can lead to unexpected, extraordinary joy.”


This family-friendly production will hold a certain charm both for those who can remember families gathering by the radio to listen to holiday stories and plays as well as for the those who have grown up with audiobooks and podcasts. Sitting in on the live creation makes audiences feel even more involved in the story. Beyond the wonderful tale itself is the entertainment value of seeing seven actors play no fewer than 20 characters.


The production is directed by Artistic/Executive Director David Bondrow, with musical direction by Fran Landis, who had the pleasure of working with adaptor Lance Smith when he was a 10-year-old actor in a 1987 production of “Oliver.” The cast includes, Michelle Holden, Jon May, Katy Miner, Elliot Fox, Nathan Andrew Miller, Kirkland Gilmer, Isabella Bindeman and Jane Hereth.


Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 23, Nov. 29 and Dec. 7, with matinee performances at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 24, 29 and 30 as well as Dec. 7 and 8.


For the matinee on Saturday, Dec. 7, attendees can pay an extra $10 to have an enchanted afternoon in the Village of Lancaster. This includes lunch with Santa from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Skoob’s Village Grill followed by photos with Santa (and help with your Christmas wish list) at Bloomsbury Lane Toy Shoppe before the 2:30 show. Throughout the holiday season, the historic Lancaster Village shopping district on Central Avenue and West Main Street is beautifully lit and features many local businesses, including Josie’s on Central, a new ladies’ boutique.


Tickets are $32 (adults), $30 (seniors), and $20 (students). The LOH Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and one hour before curtain at performances. The Lancaster Opera House is located on the second floor of the Lancaster Town Hall, 21 Central Avenue, Lancaster, New York 14086. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 716-683-1776 or online. Student discount tickets can be ordered in advance but must be picked up by the student on the night of the performance. Students appearing 18+ must present a valid student I.D.