A little piece of New York City right here in Thunder Bay
By Savanah Tillberg, Arts and Culture Editor
Most are familiar with the heartwarming holiday tale that is Miracle on 34th Street. If not, here is a quick (spoiler free) synopsis: A young girl sets out to determine if a man who claims to be Santa Claus is the real deal or not. This December, Magnus Theatre is bringing New York City to the Thunder Bay stage with their production of this holiday classic.
Magnus Theatre’s Artistic Director, Thom Currie, is excited to present Miracle on 34th Street to Thunder Bay this holiday season. He wants this production to stand as “a reminder that the concept of Santa Claus and everything he stands for is an extremely important part of the human existence.” The importance of the holiday season goes beyond the commercialism, and this story reminds people about the value of faith and good intentions. Currie adds, “at the core, this is a story of a little girl who learns to believe in good things, through reason and logic. As we come to debate the existence of Santa Claus, the audience, like the courtroom, will be given irrefutable proof as to the existence of Christmas miracles.”
The show features an extremely talented cast which welcomes both veterans and newcomers to the theatre. Currie raves, “the cast of Miracle On 34th Street is a who’s who of the Canadian theatre, blending some of Canada’s finest and best-known actors with some wonderful and familiar faces from the Thunder Bay theatre scene.” Marketing Director Scott Hobbs tells The Argus that Kris Kringle will be played by “Canadian theatre legend” Walter Learning, who has held a career in theatre for nearly 60 years and has performed and directed from coast to coast. Also returning to the Magnus stage, joining Learning, is Kevin Hare, who many theatre attendees might recognize from his last Magnus production, Of Human Bondage. Some talented actors who are making their Magnus debuts include: Jessica Krasnichuk, Andrew Paulen and Andrew Cecon. In addition, the show will also feature local youths, Anne-Sophie Lalonde and Kael Ewan, both of whom are alumni of Magnus’ Theatre in Education program.
The set is designed by Laura Gardner, who has spent countless hours researching and guiding the cast and crew to ensure that the magic of Macy’s Christmas displays are represented in the local production. In addition to the undoubtedly fabulous set, Currie promises that, “the halls of Magnus Theatre will be decked in all sorts of Christmas cheer,” in order to put the audience in a holiday spirit as soon as they enter the building.
The production is suitable for ages 7 and older and has a run time of 2 hours and 20 minutes. It premiers on December 7th and closes on December 23rd. Due to the popularity of this story and Magnus’ reputation for excellence, tickets are selling out quickly, so be sure to purchase them online as soon as possible. This show is perfect for the whole family, or would even make a lovely surprise for anyone in your life who grew up watching the movie. Either way, you won’t want to miss this local production of the classic tale.