Disher Brings Holiday Radio Back to the Stage

Pictured Above: Doris Walker (Mary Sabo), Fred Gailey (Jack Seabury) and Susan Walker (Emma Hand) “monkey around” with Kris Kringle and Miracle on 34th Street | Dane Dupuis photo for Center Stage

The warmth of a nostalgic 1940s radio show is a welcome thing at any holiday season, and this year Southampton’s Center Stage plans not to disappoint.

Longtime director Michael Disher returns to the Southampton Cultural Center this December with a production of “Miracle on 34th Street, A Live Musical Radio Play,” running weekends from Dec. 3 through Dec. 12.

“I am thrilled to be returning and continuing this holiday tradition that has always been very special to me,” said Mr. Disher. “The holidays are a gift, particularly this year, and the opportunity to sit, smile and laugh together is a miracle. Featuring our greatest technology – imagination, the story transports us to a humbler and more innocent time through sounds and spoken word.”

This isn’t Mr. Disher’s first foray into live radio plays. At the holiday-time back in 2017, Center Stage brought “A Christmas Carol, A Live Radio Play” to the Southampton stage.

This production is adapted from the 1947 Lux Radio Broadcast of “Miracle on 34th Street,” adapted by Lance Arthur Smith with original lyrics, music and arrangements by Jon Lorenz, and is presented through special arrangements with Stage Rights. 

The story centers on a man who says his name is Kris Kringle who spreads kindness in his role as a Macy’s department store Santa Claus. His mental health is called into question when he insists that he is Santa Claus and is asked to prove so in court.

The 1947 film, a Christmas classic, was the winner of three Academy Awards, and has been selected for preservation in the U.S. Library of Congress National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

Center Stage’s production features Daniel Becker, Mary Sabo, Jack Seabury, Susan Cincotta, Joey Giovingo, Christopher Tyrkko, Michaal Lyn Schepps, John Lovett, Amanda Jones, Michael Casper and introducing Emma Hand. Amanda Jones serves as musical director.

This story is told well through the incandescent glow of a 1940s radio set, complete with period costumes and Foley sound effects for the audience to see. Because they are ‘in a radio studio,’ the cast is on stage throughout the play, either reading their parts into the microphones or preparing sound effects or ready to jump in to the middle of a song.

Performance times are Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 and 5 p.m. Dec. 3 through Dec. 12. 

General admission tickets are $25, and children’s tickets, for those under age 21, are $20.

Tickets are available at www.scc-arts.org or by calling 631.287.4377.

The Southampton Cultural Center is located at 25 Pond Lane in Southampton. 

The Southampton Cultural Center occupies a village-operated facility. Their Covid policy is that all visitors and attendees must wear masks and that all performers, when not on stage, must wear masks. 

The cast and crew of “Miracle on 34th Street” is fully vaccinated.    

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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