A "miracle" comes to Main Street in Hannibal

Miracle on 34th Street comes to Hannibal (submitted photo)

Warm, comforting food and warm Christmas wishes in a war family atmosphere. That’s the goal as Studio 57 Productions partners with Greater Days to present one of Hollywood’s best-loved Christmas classics in a unique, live “diner theater” format featuring performances by professional actors augmented by video and sound clips.

Studio 57’s Clark Cruikshank hopes to achieve holiday magic with his version of Miracle on 34th Street, adapted from the original story by Valentine Davies, the screenplay by George Seaton for the popular 1947 Christmas film, and the Lux Radio Theatre performance heard on CBS Radio in December of 1948. “It’s a well-known story,” says Cruikshank, “but we’ve managed to put our own spin on it.”

Miracle on 34th Street Live will be presented at Greater Days, the newly-renovated, family-operated cafe at 111 North Main Street in Hannibal, on two consecutive Sundays, December 10th and 17th, at 2:00 and 6:00 p.m.

WTAD radio personality Jim Dewey stars as Kris Kringle. a kind old man who may or may not be the real Santa Claus. Real-life mother and daughter Kristie and Maddie Bradshaw will play Doris and Susan Walker, and local singer-actor Patrick Hedges will appear as Fred Gailey. The supporting cast is rounded out by a cast of talented local performers, including veteran actors Clark Cruikshank and Frank Elmore, Kirsten Hildahl-Dewey, Bob and Pat Yapp, and Emily Lennox.

“We’re extremely blessed here in Hannibal with a wealth of local talent,” says Clark Cruikshank. “When it’s time to produce a new show, I naturally go back to that pool.”

Audiences will be treated to a home-cooked Christmas dinner, served buffet style, followed by a Christmas sing-along preshow and a live performance of Miracle on 34th Street.

Studio 57 specializes in live-performance, “moveable” adaptations of classic Hollywood films. Its creative team consists of husband-and-wife theatre veterans Clark and Maria Cruikshank along with Frank Elmore, a multi-talented stage/film/television actor and filmmaker who recently came to Hannibal by way of New York and Los Angeles. Studio 57’s format allows for economical programming, and puts greater emphasis on good writing and good acting, igniting the power of the audience’s imagination.

Greater Days, a downtown café owned and operated by the Bourret family, has gained a solid local reputation for its comfort food meals and house-baked desserts. “Greater Days is truly a family affair, and very much a labor of love,” says Studio 57’s Cruikshank. “It’s a go-to meeting place for Frank and me when we have a taste for a home-cooked lunch and a slice of Terry Bourret’s pie. Which is shockingly often.”

Tickets for Miracle on 34th Street Live can be obtained by calling Greater Days at (573) 221-6900. Tickets prices are $25.00 adults and $10.00 for children 12 and under.

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