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Mrs. Santa Claus – Christmas TV Special 1996

Mrs. Santa Claus – Christmas TV Special 1996



It looks like 1910 is an excellent year at Santa’s toy shop. The elves have finished their work earlier than ever, all thanks to the boss, Mrs. Claus (“Seven Days ‘til Christmas”). And this year, with more and more children in the world, Mrs. Claus has worked out a new navigation route for Santa. But when she tries to show Santa her plan, he hardly listens – he’s too busy reading the letters of so many children. Feeling neglected, as she always does at Christmas time, Mrs. Claus decides to test out the new flight plan herself. She hitches up the reindeer and takes off on Santa’s sleigh (“Mrs. Santa Claus”). Over New York City Mrs. Claus gets caught in a blizzard and crash-lands on to a cobblestone street. She’s unharmed, but Cupid, one of the reindeer, has hurt his leg. Mrs. Claus takes him to a nearby stable where Marcello, the stable boy, examines the reindeer and declares that Cupid must stay off that leg for a few days if it’s to heal properly. Stuck in New York City, Mrs. Claus asks Marcello if he knows a place where she can stay. Marcello suggests Mrs. Lowenstien’s boarding house on Avenue A, and escorts her there. As Mrs. Claus walks through the streets, she is amazed by all the people from so many different backgrounds – it’s like seeing the whole world on one city block (“The World of Avenue A”). Mrs. Claus meets another resident of the boarding house, Nora Kilkenny, from Ireland. Nora and her father came over to America together, and they both work long hours, saving to bring over Nora’s mother and baby brother. The landlady Mrs. Lowenstien also has a daughter. The neighbors call her “Soapbox Sadie,” ridiculing her habit of standing on a soapbox and preaching the radical idea of a woman’s right to vote. Shy Marcello is secretly in love with Sadie, but hasn’t had the nerve to speak to her until Mrs. Claus makes an introduction. Mrs. Claus (who’s going by the name of Mrs. North) needs a job to pay her rent, and Nora brings her to the Tavish Toy Company, where she works. There Mrs. Claus is shocked by the shoddy quality of the toys and Mr. Tavish’s uncaring treatment of his young workers (“A Tavish Toy”). After winning the hearts of the children who work at Tavish’s (“Almost Young”), Mrs. Claus decides to improve their working conditions. She seeks guidance from Sadie, and also offers some advice: Get down from the soapbox and speak to the neighborhood women personally, one at a time. Sadie tries Mrs. Claus’s approach, and the result is a parade of Avenue A women demanding the right to vote (“Suffragette March”). Marching along with the women is just one man – Marcello. He’d follow his beloved anywhere, even though Sadie explains to him that “We Don’t Go Together at All.” Back on Avenue A, Mrs. Claus and Nora sneak into a vaudeville theater and watch a perfectly dreadful bird-whistling act. It doesn’t matter that they’re tossed out of the show – in the alley their friendship deepens as they launch into their own version of the whistler’s song (“Whistle”). Meanwhile up at the North Pole Santa discovers that Mrs. Claus is missing. He worries about her and realizes how much he loves and depends upon his beloved wife (“Dear Mrs. Santa Claus”). At Tavish Toys, Mrs. Claus organizes a work slowdown as Sadie suggested, trying to force Mr. Tavish to provide heat for his employees. But the plan backfires: Mr. Tavish evicts Mrs. Claus and takes away the children’s Christmas day off. They’ll work like it was any other day – and harder! Nora and Mrs. Claus will not be stopped. Mrs. Claus declares that the children need to fight Mr. Tavish and stick up for themselves. The young workers march out into the street, singing, chanting, encouraging all the kids in New York to boycott Tavish Toys. The children of New York agree, and toss their defective Tavish toys out their windows. All New York knows about Mr. Tavish now, and his factory is closed. It’s Christmas Eve, and the traditional policemen’s party is in full swing. Watching the dancing couples makes Mrs. Claus wistful. She steps out on a balcony, looks up at the North Star, and realizes how much she misses her husband (“He Needs Me”). Just then Marcello tells Mrs. Claus that Cupid’s leg is completely healed. Relieved, Mrs. Claus prepares to head home. … … where Santa is alarmed that he’ll never get to his deliveries this year – not with the reindeer gone. But there’s a thump on the roof, and Mrs. Claus steps into the toy shop. Santa’s face lights up with a huge smile, and for the first time in the many, many years they’ve been married, Santa invites Mrs. Claus to come along on his Christmas Eve deliveries. Mrs. Claus is overjoyed. Not only has she touched so many lives on Avenue A, but she has succeeded in strengthening her own marriage. She climbs into the sleigh and together, while flying through the night, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus sing “The Best Christmas of All.”

– Mark Saltzman


Mrs. Santa Claus: Angela Lansbury Santa Claus: Charles Durning Arvo: Michael Jeter Mr. Tavish: Terrence Mann Marcello: David Norona Sadie: Debra Wiseman Mrs. Lowenstien: Rosalind Harris Officer Doyle: Bryan Murray Nora: Lynsey Bartilson Mrs. Brandenheim: Grace Keagy Mrs. Shaughnessy: Linda Kerns Izzy: Chachi Pittman Fritzi: Sabrina Bryan Emilio: Bret Easterling Henry: Mitchah Williams Miss MacGonnigle: Stacy Sullivan First Elf: Kristi Lynes Second Elf: Jamie Torcellini Ensemble: D.C. Anderson, Kaylyn Blank, Larry Kenton, Geoff Koch, Darlene Koldenhoven, Stephen Lively, Fran Logan, Kathryn Skatula, Vanessa Vandergriff The Kids: Lynsey Bartilson, Jamie Blank, Sabrina Bryan, Chachi Pittman, Mitchah Williams Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman Musical Direction and Vocal Arrangements by Don Pippin Orchestrations and Musical Supervision by Larry Blank Suffragette March orchestrated by Dennis Dreith Dance music arrangements by David Krane Written by Mark Saltzman Directed by Terry Hughes