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A miracle on stage

Time for the holiday shows to start lining up, and the Show Palace Dinner Theatre is joining the parade with Here's Love, Meredith Willson's musical version of the beloved holiday movie Miracle on 34th Street.

The stage show plot is the same as that of the 1947 Academy Award-winning movie: precocious city kid Susan Walker (Amber Toye) lives with her divorced mom, Doris (Laura Anne Hodos), who works at Macy's. The store has hired a holiday Santa, Kris Kringle (Joseph Parra), who presents a surprise: He claims to be the real Santa.

Young Susan is skeptical, but she soon becomes a believer and convinces even her harried mom and almost everyone else in New York City. When a cynical psychologist spoils the fun by declaring Kris insane, a real Christmas miracle saves the day.

The show is a warm and happy story, made more timely by events in New York.

The big difference between the movie and the stage show, of course, is Willson's music, most notably the upbeat It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.

Other players include Jon Frazier as Doris's love interest, Fred Gaily, Tom Bengston as R. H. Macy, Steven Flaa as Mr. Gimbel _ Macy and Gimbel wind up pals, thanks to Kris _ plus supporting actors, dancers, singers and several child actors.