Volume 95, Issue 52

Tuesday, December 4, 2001
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The Grand Miracle

Let's Go hits New PL

Mo knows phunny

Flag-waving stupidity

The Grand Miracle

Miracle On 34th Street

Ralph Small, Tim Campbell, Claire Jullien

Directed By: Bernard Hopkins

Four 1/2 stars (out of five)

By Dale Wyatt
Gazette Staff

During the holiday season, miracles seem to hang in the air.

The Grand Theatre's presentation of Miracle On 34th Street is proof the theatre successfully produced their own little miracle.

Miracle is a Christmas classic – a story of hope, love and faith against common sense.

Doris Walker (Claire Jullien) had her heart broken and lost almost all faith and trust in others. Unfortunately, she raises her daughter Susan (Anna Stoll) by the same principles, not allowing Susan to enjoy the things normal children do.

Neighbour Fred Gayley (Tim Campbell) is in love with Doris, but she refuses to drop her defenses and let him in.

They meet Kris Kringle (Ralph Small), a man who claims to be Santa Claus. While staying with Fred, Kris begins to show Susan the powers and wonders of imagination. He shows her that sometimes you can to count on faith alone.

When a psychologist named Sawyer (Thom Marriott) is angered with Kris after attempting to evaluate him, he tricks Kris and locks him away in a mental institution.

The climax occurs with the trial to determine whether or not Kris Kringle is Santa Claus. Each individual learns a valuable lesson and the end result is quite uplifting.

The most impressive part of the show is the 14 singing and dancing elves, played by young children. Director Bernard Hopkins does a great job working with these child actors.

There couldn't have been a better Kris Kringle. Every detail from Ralph Small's giggle to his gentle voice aid the overall production. He is a delight to watch and at no point do you question his character.

Jullien does a great job portraying Doris however, she is so persuasive as the non-believing mother that when it comes time for her character to undergo a change of heart, one is not convinced.

The dialogue is a mix of philosophy, humour and holiday spirit. At times funny and at other times sad, the script speaks to the inner-child who believes in things that defy common sense.

Miracle On 34th Street is enjoyable for people of all ages. This play is not about whether or not there is a Santa Claus, but rather the importance of imagination and belief.

Miracle On 34th Street plays until Dec. 22 at the Grand Theatre. Call the box office for ticket info at 672-8800.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001