San Diego Musical Theatre’s Miracle on 34th Street (A Live Musical Radio Play) evidently was so successful last year when it debuted on the Horton Grand Theatre stage that SDMT has brought it back. Based on a 1947 Lux Radio Hour broadcast, this Miracle on 34th Street adapted by Lance Arthur Smith with original songs by Jon Lorenz remains a likable holiday treat. There are a couple of cast changes from last year, notably the addition of Tim West as Kris Kringle. West not only looks the part, but he’s delightfully low-key.
With brick-and-mortar department stores going the way of the dinosaur thanks to online shopping services, the ones who really ought to embrace this show are the people at Macy’s. Not only does the store figure prominently in the Miracle on 34th Street story, but also in a bunch of its songs. The U.S. Postal Service, another institution looking potential obsolescence in the eye thanks to digital technology, is also celebrated in this show (in “USPS Jingle”).
All this aside, SDMT’s production is warm and family-friendly and altogether a merry reason to visit the Gaslamp Quarter through Dec. 24, when Miracle on 34th Street closes. That’s Christmas Eve, by the way.
David L. Coddon is theater critic for San Diego CityBeat