Fred Mackaman, of Minneapolis, plays Kris Kringle in the touring musical production of "Miracle on 34th Street." The beloved Christmas classic will show at 7 p.m. Monday at the Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center, 100 Kentucky Ave.
Even under the glare of the stage lights, Fred Mackaman says he can see the glow in the eyes of the audience members at the end of every performance of “Miracle on 34th Street.”
Mackaman, of Minneapolis, plays the role of Kris Kringle in the touring production of the Christmas classic, which will show at the Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center at 7 p.m. Monday.
Meredith Willson’s musical adaptation, based on the 1947 movie of the same name, tells the story of the elderly Kringle, who is forced to leave the Maplewood Retirement Home when his claim that he is Santa Claus call his sanity into question.
Rather than go to a sanitarium, Kringle decides to try his luck on the streets, where he ends up being hired to play Santa for the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan. This is only the beginning of an adventure that has touched audiences for more than 60 years.
Mackaman believes the play still resonates with viewers because it is set in America and deals with American themes. The fact that it portrays Santa Claus as a real person doesn’t hurt, he added.
“It’s a universal story even today. Santa Claus is a living, breathing guy who lives in a senior citizen’s home,” Mackaman said.
The musical production also includes tunes that audiences will recognize, such as “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.” Mackaman said that children will especially enjoy the comedic moments and silly songs in the show.
For adults, the show offers relatable situations, such as that of parade organizer Doris Walker and her struggles to raise a daughter on her own, Mackaman said.
Mackaman added that the story touches on important themes — in particular, the value of being true to oneself and not being limited by the beliefs of others — that he believes will prove inspirational for audiences of all ages.
“(The show) gives you a little bit to think about: about this time of the year, and this season,” he said.
Tickets to “Miracle on 34th Street” cost $15 plus fees, and may be purchased by calling the box office, 270-450-4444, or visiting www.thecarsoncenter.org. The Carson Center box office is located at 100 Kentucky Ave., and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641.
Want to go?
n What: “Miracle on 34th Street”
n When: 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17
n Where: The Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center, 100 Kentucky Ave.
Tickets cost $15 plus fees, and may be purchased by calling the box office, 270-450-4444, or visiting www.thecarsoncenter.org. The Carson Center box office is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.