Artfully Edmonds Close-Up: Driftwood’s ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ a family affair

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miracleimageNov. 28 – Dec. 21
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays ~ 8PM
Saturday and Sunday matinees ~ 2PM

Wade James Playhouse
950 Main Street

Driftwood Players Theatre Company is producing “Miracle on 34th Street ~ The Play”, under the direction of Nikki Fey-Burgett to celebrate the 2014 holiday season.

News of the production first appeared several weeks ago in “Artfully Edmonds”

Although “Miracle on 34th Street” has many adaptations, Driftwood Players have chosen the work of Valentine Davies, as performed by the Mountain Community Theater for their Nov. 28 – Dec. 21 run.

The synopsis for this particular adaptation is offered by stageplays.com: “By chance, Kris Kringle, an old man in a retirement home, gets a job working as Santa for Macy’s.

Kris unleashes waves of good will with Macy’s customers and the commercial world of New York City by referring parents to other stores to find exactly the toy their child has asked for.

However, he’s seen as deluded and dangerous by Macy’s vocational counselor, who plots to have Kris shanghaied to Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital.

The play climaxes when Kris Kringle ends up in court defending his sanity. At stake is one little girl’s belief in Santa.”
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It’s always exciting to get a peek behind the curtain of a major production, so My Edmonds News (MEN) thought it might be fun to interview Fey-Burgett (NFB) to learn what makes this production so special to Edmonds-area theatre lovers that the tickets are flying out the window!

We invite you to read on as Nikki takes time out from preparing for the production to tell us about the play:

MEN: What can you tell us about Driftwood Players production of “Miracle on 34th Street” for those Edmonds-area families that have not yet experienced a Driftwood Players holiday production?
NFB: We have set Miracle in present day (specific only about the New York City setting), but preserved the wonderful story written by Valentine Davies in the 1940s.

Updating the show easily proves that the story is timeless, and the messages of the show will resonate with 2014 audiences, just as they did in the original 1957 motion picture. The two-level set is on the minimal side; with the show brought to life primarily by a skilled lighting design, which allows the show to flow easily from one area to the next.

One of the most notable things about our production is “Elf Theater.” The script is written so that a director can choose whether or not to include this segment, and I am so happy to have it in our production! The Elf Theater segment takes place in the Santa Land section of Macy’s, and the script reads merely “Elves perform.” Our choice was to put in three musical numbers, and the singing and dancing of our 13 elves (ranging in age from 8 to 14) will certainly be a highlight in the show.

MEN: We would love to hear about the youngest cast member!
NFB: Our youngest cast member is Charlie Gingold, who is 7 years old. He appears in Miracle with his entire family. Charlie’s mother and father are the lead characters, Doris and Fred, and his sister, Sadie, plays a newly arrived Dutch girl, and also appears in Elf Theater. For them, Miracle on 34th Street is definitely a family affair, and they are loving every minute!

MEN: We would enjoy an introduction to the cast members who will be making their debut on the Driftwood stage.
NFB: The majority of the 31-member cast of Miracle on 34th Street is new to Driftwood!

The show marks the debut of Quinn Bergau, Eric Bischoff, Abi Brittle, Shelly Coley-Donohue, Chloe Cook, David Dugdale, Emily Fogarty, Jason Gingold, Charlie Gingold, Sadie Gingold, Eliana Harrick, Sullivan Hart, Cynthia King, Jane Lear, Isabelle Menning, Sofia Nuno, Austin Olson, Kate Olson, Kate Parrish, Will Patton, Bella Perritt and Randy Yamanaka.

MEN: Who will regular Driftwood Player patrons recognize as veterans of the Wade James stage?
NFB: We welcome back to the Driftwood stage: Jason Bradford, BriAnne Green, Molly Hall, Alyssa Hertzog, Stephany Janssen, Mia Perritt, David Selvig and Justin Tinsley (this is Justin’s 26th Driftwood show!).

MEN: Thank You, Nikki for taking the time to let our readers know what exciting highlights to watch for when they bring their families to see “Miracle on 34th Street” at the Wade James Theatre.

— By Emily Hill

Editor’s note: Watch for an interview with Molly Hall and Jason Gingold, a real-life husband and wife who star as Doris and Fred, in the December edition of our Edmonds Today video magazine, which will be available for viewing on My Edmonds News TV Dec. 1

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