Station Dinner Theatre welcomes Christmas with a timeless classic
By Rob Kocur
If you love this time of year as much as I do, you’re going to want to check out the Station Dinner Theatre’s rendition of Miracle on 34th Street, based on the novel by Valentine Davies and edited and re-written by Paul and Rae Jean Urbanowicz.
The story involves a man who calls himself Kris Kringle and is convinced he’s the real Santa Claus. No one actually believes him, of course, including Dr. Pierce at the psychiatric hospital from which he’s been recently released, Doris, his supervisor at Macy’s Department Store, where he eventually becomes employed after another Santa has one too many cups of cheer during the annual parade.
Doris, a jaded divorcee, tries to convince her daughter Susan, that there is no Santa, but Kris begins winning her over, as he does everyone, except the curmudgeonly Sawyer, who schemes to put Kris back in the hospital. Eventually, there’s a dramatic court scene and…well, that’s all I’m going to say for now.
Before the show begins, patrons were treated to a fabulous meal, including salad, roast beef, chicken Romano, ginger flavored rice, rolls, and pumpkin crisp, served at the intermission. Special kudos to chef Bob Stewart for the tasty fare.
The audience was sparse, but that’s not surprising for a Thursday show. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, especially the four people from Pittsburgh who were seated at my table. One of them said it was the best show they’d seen in a long time.
Though all the actors were splendid in their roles, a few stood out. Carrie Smith was funny as the Macy Store elf, and Lisa Slezak was wonderfully sinister as Sawyer. Dave Edmunds was hysterically goofy as Mr. Macy, while Adrian Urbanowicz played the delightful Susan Walker. The star of the show however, was David Durst as Kris Kringle. His appearance, mannerisms and gentle disposition, seemed to be lifted right out of the original movie. My only critique is that on a couple of occasions, he seemed to be battling his microphone.
The carolers, who included the entire cast, do a wonderful job with classic Christmas songs like Silver Bells, Wish You a Merry Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and the intro., It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. My personal favorite is Imagination, sung by Kris to Susan. It sent a chill up my spine. I also enjoyed I Believe, sung by Doris and Susan, although the feedback problem with Susan’s mike was a distraction through most of the show.
Miracle on 34th Street is a great production, featuring some very talented performers. So if you’re looking for a festive night out, of dinner and song, don’t miss the Station’s holiday show.
Miracle on 34th Street continues on December 13, 14, 15, 20 and 21. Performances begin at 7p.m. on Fri., 5:30 on Sat., and Sun. at 2:30. For more information, contact the Station box office at 864-2002 or at www.canterburyfeast.com.