Nobody can say that the folks over at Willy Week are Scrooges…not after reading this MIRACULOUSLY good review of Miracle on 43rd Street! Read the review online here!
Just Opened: A Miracle on 43rd Street
A review of Bag & Baggage’s holiday spoof.
In the green- and red-tinted pantheon of Christmas classics, Miracle on 34th Street is perhaps one of the more poignant and touching tales. Which, of course, makes it perfect fodder for a spoof, and Scott Palmer, artistic director of Hillsboro’s Bag & Baggage Productions, is not one to let the opportunity for parody pass him by. Hence A Miracle on 43rd Street: A Holiday Radio Massacre, the second installment in Bag & Baggage’s 1940s radio-themed Christmas shows after last year’sIt’s a (Somewhat) Wonderful Life.
The basic recipe for such a show goes a little something like this: Take one beloved and critically acclaimed Christmas story and add a radio recording studio, a dash of disaster and a heaping helping of slapstick and bam! You got yourself a new kind of holiday hit—one that serves up Christmas cheer with a side of satire.
As A Miracle on 43rd Street begins, KBNB station manager Winston Whiteside (Gary Strong) is gearing up for what he hopes will be the radio event of the Christmas season. Whiteside has assembled a star-studded cast to perform George Seaton and Valentine Davies’ tale of Kris Kringle’s magical turn as a Macy’s Santa Claus, and he’s sure this particular program will put him and his station on the map. Unfortunately, his two leads—Donald Donaldson (Chase Fulton) and Felicity Fay Fitzpatrick (Clara Hillier)—are in the middle of a messy separation, and mob boss Anthony Antonino (Luke Armstrong) picks this night, of all nights, to surprise his ex-girlfriend, Lana North-Berkshire-Whiteside (Jessica Geffen)—who also happens to be Whiteside’s wife—with a rather inopportune visit. Soon, sound effects engineer Peter Paulson (Branden McFarland) is dead of a gunshot wound to the chest and flaming cop Gilroy Gildersleeve (Jeremy Sloan) finds himself trapped in the sound stage.
A Miracle on 43rd Street is a heartwarming Christmas tale by way of Prairie Home Companion and Weekend at Bernie’s. Prepare yourself for a lot of corpse gags, sound effects-related humor and bouncing boobs. Because nothing says “the birth of Christ” like the kind of cleavage that would accommodate all three wise men. If you’re already sick of the slate of sappy Christmas movies running in a loop on Lifetime, A Miracle on 43rd Street might just be the antidote you require.
SEE IT: A Miracle on 43rd Street is at the Venetian Theatre, 253 E Main St., Hillsboro, 693-3953. 7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through Dec. 23. Additional performances 7:30 pm Monday-Tuesday, Dec. 22-23. $22-$32. Tickets here.