Review: Miracle on 34th Street at LaComedia

BY: Michael Woody
last updated 12/07/2023
Review: Miracle on 34th Street at LaComedia

Mike Woody reviews the Christmas production showing now thru Dec 30 at LaComedia Dinner Theatre in Springboro.

Review: Miracle on 34th Street at LaComedia

The debate about when the Christmas season begins occurs every year. For some, the answer is, the day after Thanksgiving, for others it’s when packages start getting delivered to their front door multiple times a day, or from untangling an endless stream of lights. Personally, I become filled with the Christmas spirit after hearing the traditional singing of O Holy Night at La Comedia. It’s a tradition that I cherish and this year’s rendition is among the best ever.

More about O Holy Night later, the feature presentation is Miracle on 34th Street, with a cast brimming with enough spirit to convert any scrooge into becoming a believer of holiday magic. From his snow white beard, jolly attitude and twinkle in his eyes; Jonathan Fluck is perfect as Kris Kringle. After a few more weeks of sweet potato soufflé and all the other tasty sensations on the buffet, he’ll have the belly for the part too. 

At the heart of all the action is young Susan, a role split between Charlotte Dawson & Adilynn Hutton. Both are sure to impress with the maturity of their talents. All that Susan wants for Christmas is for her house to be made into a home, not by the inclusion of an elf on the shelf, but by her mother falling in love…with Fred. It’s a tall order, even for Santa himself, as Doris (Rebecca Lee Evans) doesn’t believe in romance or Christmas magic. Her heart has been jilted. The irresistible charm of Keenan Patrick Buckley provides a real dilemma for Doris though. Evans has a beautiful voice, and brings a glow brighter than Rudolph’s nose to the stage.

The best villains are likeable, no matter how evil, and David Thomas is delightfully likeable as Mr….err DR. Sawyer. Thomas is a laugh riot as a doctor convinced that Kringle is certifiably insane. Though fond of saying ‘Wrong,’ during a certain scene, there is a lot ‘Right’ about Thomas’ performance. He’s a special talent who always steals every scene he’s in. 

The trial is Court TV worthy, as it contains numerous exceptional moments, all presided over by Sheryl Koontz who serves honorably as Judge Harper. Special mention to JD Smith as the bailiff, who makes the most out of a small part and really stands-out. 

The cast is also highlighted by Alexia Daniels who excels as Shellhammer, Nate Marcum is the most likeable postman since Cliff Clavin, Steve Lakes is perfectly dignified as Macy, and no show is complete without at least a dose of the legendary Karie-Lee Sutherland. 

The Christmas show at La Comedia is always amongst the most attended. I believe that the singing of O Holy Night is a big reason why. It’s essentially the equivalent of two shows for the price of one. The powerful voice of Steven Drake delivers more emotions than a Hallmark Christmas movie. Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ may top the charts, but I’ll choose Drake’s ‘O Holy Night’ every day of the week, and twice on Sunday (matinee & evening show). 

Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical, along with O Holy Night is guaranteed to fill you with the Christmas spirit.

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