Shows "I"

IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS Book by Meredith Willson : Music by Meredith Willson : Lyrics by Meredith Willson Based on Miracle on 34th Street; story by Valentine Davies, screenplay by George Seaton Two Acts Book Musical Shubert Theatre, Broadway - 3 October,1963 (334 perfs) as Here's Love SYNOPSIS Kris Kringle takes on the cynics among us in this musical adaptation of the popular holiday favourite. In his inimitable style, Meredith Willson, the author of “The Music Man” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” tells us the classic story of the year. A white-bearded gentleman claiming to be the real Santa Claus brings about a genuine “Miracle on 34th Street,” spreading a wave of love throughout New York City, fostering camaraderie between Macy’s and Gimbel’s Department Stores, and convincing a divorced, cynical single mother, her somber daughter and the entire state of New York that Santa Claus is no myth. STORY After the overture, the lights come up in the West 70's in New York City. We see the steps of a brownstone front - next door is a tall modern apartment building. The time is the present. It is morning -- Thanksgiving Day. Seated on the steps is solemn-eyed Susan Walker, age six, reading The New York Times. She takes no notice of the various passerby's'. There appear to be preparations underway for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. A silver-bearded gentleman enters - indeed the classic conception of Santa Claus - and tells one of the parade workers that the reindeer (Prancer and Blitzen) should change places in the Santa float. Fred Gaily, a marine captain, enters and talks with young Susan who is in no mood for conversation. It is here that we learn that this girl has no father and certainly no interest in seeing Santa Claus. In the opening number "Big Ca-lown Balloons," the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons are walked across the stage. Fred once again approaches Susan and offers her a ride on his shoulders so that she can see the parade and also see Santa Claus. Susan tells him that she doesn't believe in Santa Claus since her mother works at Macy's and hires Santa. Fred is in no mood to hear a "little Scrooge" poo-poo Christmas and read the paper, so he hoists her up on his shoulders and whisks her off to see the parade. The next scene takes place "back stage" at the parade on a side street near Macy's. The woman in charge, Doris Walker, (Susan's mother) is concerned that the man playing Santa Claus hasn't shown up yet. The bearded gentleman we met in the first scene approaches her, and she at first mistakes him for the Macy's Santa; however, she realizes that this isn't the case after she sees her Santa quite drunk and unable to ride in the parade float. Out of desperation, she quickly convinces the bearded gentleman to substitute for the drunk Santa and he agrees to help out. The bearded gentleman dons the costume, mounts the sleigh, and saves the day - just in the nick of time. The scene shifts to the parade and it goes passing by in a choreographed fashion. At first it appears to be a rainy day, but suddenly the sun comes out as the Santa Claus float rounds the corner. Fred and little Susan