Familiar and new actors star in family-friendly holiday musical at Thingamajig

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    Photo courtesy Halley Daigle-Saez
    Halley Daigle-Saez and Aaron Catano-Saez are two of the Thingamajig Theatre Company alumni who will perform in “Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play,” the uplifting family-friendly holiday production at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. “Miracle” opens on Dec. 15 and will be performed every day through Dec. 23. Evening performances are at 7 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. on Dec. 19. Proof of vaccinations and masks will be required for the audience, following Broadway’s COVID protocols.

    By Carole Howard 
    Thingamajig Theatre Company

    “Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play,” an uplifting family-friendly show, will be Thingamajig Theatre Company’s holiday production this year. 

    The play will showcase the skills of four Thingamajig alumni as well as several new faces. 

    The familiar holiday classic is the story of a young girl’s powerful belief in Santa and all the values he stands for. The production features original songs as well as favorite Christmas carols and is performed in the style of a live 1940s-era radio broadcast.

    The play, set in a radio studio, portrays the iconic Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street in New York City — plus a scene in a courtroom with a judge ruling over an argument about Santa’s identification.

    “Coming out of the long COVID closures, it’s a special treat for us to present such a heartwarming show for the holiday season at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts,” said Tim Moore, the theater’s producing artistic director. 

    Actor favorites return

    This production features seven actors, all of whom play multiple parts in the show. 

    Several are favorites with local and out-of-town audiences from previous performances at Thingamajig, including Trevor Brown, Aaron Catano-Saez and Halley Daigle-Saez. Others will be talented new faces. All these actors are from various cities across the U.S. 

    A local youngster will play the part of Susan, a precocious 8-year-old whose belief in Santa is key to the plot of the story. She is Simone Haas, age 7, daughter of Ursala Hudson and Chris Haas, of Pagosa Springs. Simone made her stage debut in July as Elsa in the kids’ version of Disney’s “Frozen” as a participant in Thingamajig’s kids summer camp.

    The production will be directed and choreographed by Andrew Barrett Lewis, whose last Pagosa show was “A Grand Night for Singing” over Christmas 2019.

    Multiple positive reviews

    This version of the Christmas “Miracle” story was first produced in San Diego to rave reviews. One observer said the show “lights up the holidays,” while another said it “comes gift-wrapped with a fetching musical score.” A separate reviewer opined, “You will want to bring the entire family,” while another called it a “beloved musical that will melt even the most cynical of hearts.”

    Writing in the San Diego Union Tribune, longtime theater critic James Hebert said, “Just when you think there is nothing new under the sun (or inside the snow globe), along comes a Christmas show that reminds even the Scrooge-iest soul how rewarding holiday theater can be.”

    Tickets and COVID
    protocols

    “Miracle” opens on Dec. 15 and will be performed every day through Dec. 23. Evening performances are at 7 p.m., with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. on Dec. 19. Moore chose to end the show’s run just before Christmas so that the actors could return home to their families for their holiday celebrations.

    You can order tickets for the show on the theater’s website at pagosacenter.org or by phoning (970) 731-SHOW (7469). Tickets are $35. 

    Proof of vaccinations and masks will be required for the audience, following Broadway’s COVID protocols.

    Thingamajig Theatre Company was co-founded in 2011 by Tim and Laura Moore. It is an award-winning professional nonprofit 501(c)(3) theater in residence within the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. Its talented actors, directors and designers come from across the U.S. and around the world to produce musicals, comedies and dramas year-round — COVID permitting, of course.