Miracle on 34th Street: May 18th

ᴄᴀsᴛ ᴏꜰ ᴄʜᴀʀᴀᴄᴛᴇʀs:

George Strait: Kris Kringle
Tina Fey: Doris Walker
Perry Como: Fred Gailey
Frank Capra: Julian Shellhammer
Pope John Paul II: R.H. Macy
Reggie Jackson: Granville Sawyer
Pernell Roberts: District Attorney Thomas Mara
The Concrete Cowboy: Judge Henry Harper

“Jingle Bells! Jingle Bells! Jingle all the way…!”

Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade is about to sing and dance its way down festive 34th Street, kicking off yet another hectic holiday season with the arrival of Santa Claus. But one character decided to start the celebration early…

Tina: Why aren’t you in your costume – oh, I’m sorry. I though you were our Santa.

George: Your Santa is intoxicated.

Tina: Oh, no! Not again!

George: Shameful. Absolutely shameful.

Tina (thinking quickly): Could you be our Santa Claus? I mean… have you had any experience playing Santa Claus?

George (chuckling to himself): Not really.

Tina: Oh, please. There just isn’t time to get anyone else.

George: Madam, I am not in the habit of playing spurious Santas.

But as soft-hearted Kris looks around, he reconsiders.

George: Oh, well… the children mustn’t be disappointed.

Tina: Someone get some coffee – black!

George: …with just a little Jack.

Kris is so convincing that Mrs. Walker hires him to pose as Macy’s store Santa pushing overstock in Mr. Shellhammer’s toy department. While there, Kris is visited by Mrs. Walker’s daughter Susan and friendly neighbor Fred Gailey, much to the disappoinment of Susan’s mother.

Perry (hesitantly): I shouldn’t have brought Susan down to see Santa Claus.

Tina: Now, you’re making me feel like the proverbial step-mother.

Perry: I just didn’t think there was any harm in having her say hello to the old man.

Tina: But I think there is. I tell her Santa Claus isn’t real and she comes here and meets a very convincing old man with whiskers in a cowboy hat.

Perry: So, no myths, no legends, no Saturday Night Live…

Tina: And no fairy tales. I believe we should be completely truthful and up-front with children. A girl spends her whole life waiting for Prince Charming only to wake-up and find that her TV show has been cancelled, no one’s laughing at her jokes, and…

Perry: We were talkng about Susan.

The store’s new Santa has created quite a stir, and Mrs. Walker and Mr. Shellhammer are summoned to the office of R.H. Macy. The room is filled with suits and ties. They enter apprehensively…

John Paul (warmly): Oh, come in! I should be mad and I can’t say I agree with you not informing the Marketing Dept, but gentlemen, you can’t argue with success. Imagine, a guitar pickin’ Santa sending all our customers to Billy Bob’s ATF shop.

Some of the button’d down executives appear unsettled and attempt to interupt, but Mr. Macy persists…

John Paul: I admit that on the surface this idea sounds a little Redneck and maybe a bit too Protestant, but given the over-whelming response from the public… notes are pouring from all over – the governor’s wife, the mayor’s wife, The Grand Ol’ Opry, The Vatican… .

As the meeting breaks-up for the evening, Mrs. Walker and Mr. Shellhammer slip away down the hall…

Frank: He just assumed it was our idea, so –

Tina (downcast): I fired Santa Claus.

Frank: You what?

Tina: He’s crazy, I tell you. He thinks he really is George Strait.

Frank: I don’t care if he thinks he’s Dolly Parton!

Tina: He’s crazy, I tell you.

Frank: But he sang Grandma got run over by a Reindeer to that little girl …in Dutch, no less.

Tina: Well, I’m an actress but that doesn’t make me Maureen O’Hara.

Frank: Maybe he’s only a little crazy – like Willie Nelson or Patsy Cline.

Tina: We’ll just have to hire another Santa.

Frank: Oh, no – you heard Mr. Macy: Every time Santa sings, cash registers begin to ring.

Mrs. Walker and Mr. Shellhammer agree to have Kris visit the store’s notorious psychologist.

George: Reggie! Am I glad to see you.

Reggie: My name is Dr. Sawyer. I’m a psychologist.

George: No, you’re an outfielder with a weakness for sliders.

Reggie: I’m a doctor. See? It says so here on my diploma.

George: Reg – that’s your old Yankee jersey.

Reggie (frustrated): How about we start with a couple of questions, shall we?

George: A mental exam?

Reggie: Uhmmm, No… just a few quick pitches.

George: Okay. How many fingers am I holding up?

Reggie: Two – that’s a curveball.

George: Very good. Now…

Reggie: Wait a minute! The test is for you!

George: Reg, I was only playing Santa as a favor to Tina.

Reggie: That’s interesting. When did you stop believing in yourself?

George: I’ve never stopped…

Reggie: So, you admit it – you are Santa Claus.

George: No, I admit that I’m a Grammy winning Country music artist performing at the Garden on Christmas Eve.

Reggie (scoffing): You? My Nomad’s squealing fan belt makes better music than you.

George: Well, I’ve hit more home runs than you with the backside of my guitar… in the key of C!

Reggie: Oh yeah! Hit this!

Dr. Sawyer hurls a World Series autographed commemorative horsehide across the room, which with a sharp swack, Kris line-drives straight back knocking Dr. Sawyer completely off his noggin.

…which is not the story he gave Mrs. Walker and Mr. Shellhammer when he finally came to.

Tina: Somebody get some water!

Frank: Look at that bump!

Reggie: See? I told you. He swings that Gibson like a Louisville Slugger.

Frank: I’m afraid he’s right.

Reggie: He needs to be sent away.

Pernell: And you… sent to the minors.

On his way to see Mr. Macy, Kris is intercepted and quietly wisked away in a dark sedan to the Bellevue Mental Hospital. Now confined to white walled acoustic cell, Kris receives a visitor…

Perry: Why’d you do it?

George: Had to – it was low and inside.

Perry: You sound like Dr. Sawyer.

George: He thinks he’s Mr. October! And yet, he’s out there and I’m in here. If that’s normal, I want no part of it.

Perry: Someone’s been playing hardball without a helmet.

George: Well, if it was you in here instead of me, Tina’d be out there raising you know what at the Improv.

Perry: I just spoke to Doris. She knew nothing about this.

George: Well, I’m glad for that. But she had her doubts.

Perry: Okay. But she hasn’t really believed in anything since 30 Rock.

George: Truth is… I’ve been worried about all this time of year for a long time. People are more interested in pretty lights and the show – they’ve forgotten the true meaning of Christmas and Country music.

Perry: What all those backward ballcap mic-spitting rappers who never even heard of Johnny Cash or Charlie Daniels? What about them? Who’s gonna fill your boots if you pull a fade like St. Nick on Christmas day?

George (mumbling to himself): Hadn’t thought about it quite like that.

Perry: And what about Susan – are giving up on her?

George: You gonna sing now? This isn’t a Christmas TV Special!

Perry: You can’t let her down, Kris. Who knows… maybe someday Dr. Sawyer and Taylor Swift will be in here instead.

George: You’re right. I should be ashamed of myself. Let’s get outa here!

Perry: Now hold on a minute, Kris. You flunked your test, remember?

George: Oh, yeah. That’s right. I told them Hank Williams was the father of our country.

Perry: …and first in the hearts of his countrymen.

George: You hafta get me outa here, Perry.

Perry: Now Kris, you’re putting me in an awful spot.

George: You can do it – I have faith in you.

Perry: Well, I guess… even If we can’t win, we can at least go down swinging.

George: Now you sound like Dr. Sawyer.

It’s Christmas Eve, and a commitment hearing for Kris begins at New York Superior Court. Kris reads a note slipped to him from Doris: “I believe in you.

George: That’s not funny, Tina!

Pernell: Your honor – in light of the fact that this is Christmas Eve and we all have tickets to the George Strait concert at the Garden, I urge this court to sign the Kris Kringle commitment papers immediately.

Perry: Your honor, there seems to be some undue haste in this case. I want to protect my client’s rights.

Concrete Cowboy: …as do I, Mr. Gailey.

Pernell: Your honor, the defendant thinks he is Santa Claus!

Perry: We are well aware of the opinions of the District Attorney.

Pernell: Everyone knows, there’s no such thing.

Perry: I suggest that’s merely just a matter of opinion.

Pernell: Further, the defendant is delusional and dangerous. He assaulted Macy’s company psychologist, Dr. Sawyer.

Concrete Cowboy: That charge is dismissed – the victim was a Yankee.

Pernell: Anyone who believes in Santa Claus is crazy.

Perry: The defense would like to call to the witness stand Hoss Cartwright…

Pernell: Oh no, you wouldn’t.

Perry: …and Little Joe.

Pernell: One minute, Your honor…

DA Thomas Marra pauses just long enough to weigh his wording.

Pernell: The State of New York concedes the existence of Santa Claus.

Spontaneous applause with laughter break out in the courtroom as Judge Harper gavels down the room.

Pernell: …but in so doing, we ask the defense to offer conclusive evidence that the defendant is the one and only Santa Claus.

Perry (gesturing to DA Marra): He’s crazy, too.

Concrete Cowboy: Just what are you getting at, Mr. Gailey?

Perry: Your honor, my client never claimed to be Santa Claus.

Pernell (confused): Then who does he think he is?

Perry: Your honor, I intend to prove that my client, Kris Kringle, is in fact the one and only…

Just then, an army of uniformed delivery men from the United States Postal Service filed into the courtroom carrying sack after sack of letters from children all around the world postmarked: “Santa Claus courtesy of the New York Superior Court”.

Shoveling his way through the avalanche of crayon’d addressed envelopes…

Concrete Cowboy: Since the United States government declares this man to be Santa Claus, this court will not dispute it. Case dismissed.

George: But my concert! Noooooooooo…!

A joyous courtroom mob quickly empties into the snowfall and celebration of Christmas Eve, toting a rather reluctant and disgruntled Kris Kringle, as their newly heralded Santa, back to Macy’s Department store… leaving behind a dented six string and Stetson.

In the stillness of a suddenly lonely courtroom, the judge clears his throat…

Concrete Cowboy: ♪ All my exe’s live in Texas…

He Who Must Not Be Named
Advent heralds the birth of He Who Must Not Be Named. Not the birth of X. His Father invites us to celebrate, consecrate, or marvel in silence.

The Promise: Emmanuel
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.