Santa has begun making the rounds lately. He’s been seen in Red Bank and is slated to arrive via a time-honored gala entrance festooned with tree lighting festivities in Rumson, Fair Haven and Sea Bright soon. It’s that time of the year.
But, what you may not realize is that the Santa of the streets where Rumson-Fair Haven area folks live has always been known to make many house calls. It’s pretty common knowledge that Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick has been known to not only hitch a ride on the Fair Haven fire truck to make a grand entrance at the annual tree lighting or appear at the firehouse for those classic photos with the kids, but he has also been sighted on the firetruck, sirens blaring, stopping off at some kids’ houses, gifts and ho, hoooooliday greetings in tow.
That little tradition started way back when with a few visits to good little girls and boys about town. House calls.
In fact, in our featured Retro Pic of the Day photo from the 1980s, Santa popped in on a couple grandchildren of the longtime Fair Haven Connor family. These little ones are now in their 30s.
Which Connors were sleighed by Santa in this shot? And how about that Santa? Know him? There’s one longtime Fair Haven Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary member who says this is her favorite Santa? Why? Hmmmm …
Yes, Rumson-Fair Haven area theatergoers, there is a fall high school show.
The Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Tower Players is aiming to make audiences believe in Santa Claus with its Dec. 12, 13 and 14 stage production of Miracle on 34th Street, The Play, a release from RFH said.
Based on the classic 1947 movie and novel by Valentine Davies, the Tower Players’ version of the story of a white-haired bearded man named Kris Kringle and his embattled, tradition-inspired journey as a 34th Street Macy’s Santa, has been dubbed “part nostalgic throwback and part cutting-edge entertainment,” by staff.
The show, according to the release, will feature 38 cast members bringing to life the original storyline of Kringle’s holiday trials and tribulations as he insists he is the real Santa.
The contemporary component of the RFH production manifests itself in large-scale dance numbers choreographed to a rock-based soundtrack, the release said.
The popular plot, the release said, unfolds like this: A kind white-haired man is asked by Macy’s bigwig Doris Walker to portray Santa in the famous flagship store on 34th Street in New York City.
Trouble starts to brew when the man, who says his name is Kris Kringle, claims that he is the actual Santa Claus. His claims are seriously doubted by Doris Walker and her daughter Susan, both of whom don’t believe in the existence of Santa Claus.
As Kris’ sanity comes into question, his danger of being committed to a psychiatric institution grows. Doris, concerned for Kris, enlists her friend and neighbor Fred Gailey to defend Kris in court. The highly practical Susan befriends Kris as well and, in doing so, end up with the most precious gift of all – something to believe in.
In the RFH production, Kris Kringle is played by senior Laurence Morales. Doris Walker is played by senior Emily Mangiavillano, with senior EIise Roncace as Susan Walker. Senior Andrew Maris plays Fred Gailey.
Also featured, in a ballet performance of toys coming to life, are sophomores Sara Safarian and Rachel Makstein.
The Tower Players’ Miracle on 34th Street, The Play is directed by Suzanne Sweeney, with choreography by Patty McCarron and costumes and props under the direction of Carole Malik.
Tower Players alumna Kasi Ann Sweeney is assistant director and Stefania Flecca is production coordinator. Sets, sounds and lighting are provided by Matthew Leddin and his 30-student crew, with set design contributions from the RFH Stagecraft class as well.
Tickets — $10 general admission and $6 for senior citizens, children and students — may be purchased by visiting the RFH website (rumsonfairhaven.org) or by contacting Play Production Coordinator Stefania Flecca at 732-842-1597, extension 826.
Tickets will also be sold at the theater box office in the auditorium lobby from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 24 and Dec. 1 and 4. Tickets will be sold an hour before each performance as well, based on availability.
Curtain time for the production’s Friday opening night on Dec. 12 is 7:30 p.m., followed by a show on Saturday at the same time and a closing matinee on Sunday at 1 p.m.