Dreamin’ of a White Christmas
SDMT Brings Two Holiday Shows to Town
BY TANZIE REYNOLDS
Lance Arthur Smith is adapting the piece from the original broadcast; what’s it like adapting and working from the source material?
Lance Arthur Smith: This is a unique process in that I’m adapting a radio play—itself adapted from the motion picture screenplay—into a live theatrical musical. Using the original as a template, I’m able to utilize our talented actors and live foley artist to create something truly magical. Having Jon Lorenz (music and arrangements) as a collaborator invigorates and challenges me, as I’m a big fan of his music. The central theme of Miracle on 34th Street is belief—[belief] in yourself, in your community and in the magic of the imagination. This was present in the original 1947 broadcast, and Colleen, Jon and I have made it the focus of this new version.
What makes Miracle on 34th Street stand out as a holiday production?
Colleen Kollar Smith: Our creative team is working together to make this a total experience for the audience. From the moment you walk in the door, we want you to feel as though you’re walking into a 1947 Hollywood recording studio. We have an incredible cast of seven multi-talented performers—four of whom will voice dozens of characters. The entire soundscape— footsteps, door slams, the bustle of the NYC streets and rustle of Macy’s bags—will all be created by our foley artist live every night (applause and laughter courtesy of our audience).
This is your first time performing at the Horton Grand Theatre; what’s it like transitioning into this new space?
Colleen Kollar Smith: Moving into the Horton Grand allows SDMT to produce musicals downtown all year round. We’ll continue to produce our Broadway Series at the Spreckels Theatre, and the new venue allows us to produce more intimate productions with longer runs. While this will be SDMT’s first production in the new space, the artistic team of Miracle on 34th Street has a strong history there, as Jon and I co-created the musical revue Mixtape which ran for over three years at the Horton Grand with Lance in the original cast.
Finally, why are the SDMT holiday shows important to your yearly lineup?
Colleen Kollar Smith: Many of our subscribers were first introduced to SDMT through our holiday productions. Since our shows are a great way to get into the holiday spirit and celebrate with a group, we see a lot of families, reunions and office parties. People who might not have heard of us get a taste and want to order the whole meal with a subscription.
San Diego Musical Theatre’s recently announced 10th season includes their Broadway Series at Spreckels with classic shows such as 9 to 5, Damn Yankees and Billy Elliot, which will be co-produced with California Ballet. While Miracle on 34th Street will be SDMT’s inaugural production at Horton Grand Theatre, the company will perform two other shows at the venue this season: First Date and Pump Up the Volume: A 90s Palooza.
Subscriptions for the entire season are available now, as are tickets for the two holiday shows. Step into a winter wonderland and draw out the holiday spirit with the final production of White Christmas and the premiere production of Miracle on 34th Street.