By Andrew Gans
14 Dec 2013
John Morris Russell conducts the Pops; Patrick Boyd directs.
The cast is headed by Tony nominee Liz Callaway as Miriam, Tony nominee Norm Lewis as Mr. Church and Gracie Alexander as eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon with Joshua Steele as Scraggly Santa, Aiden Hubbard as Ollie and Claire Northcut as Charlotte. The family-friendly performance also features The May Festival Youth Chorus (James Bagwell, director) and The Studio for Dance of Cincinnati (Shari Poff, director).
The musical has book and lyrics by William Schermerhorn and music by Wesley Whatley.
This new musical, according to press notes, has its origins in 1897, when "eight-year old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote the New York Sun newspaper in New York City asking if Santa Claus really existed. One of the paper’s editors, Francis Pharcellus Church, wrote an impassioned response that has become the most reprinted editorial from any English language newspaper. The reading and interpretation of O’Hanlon and Church’s words have become popular Christmas traditions for many and was the inspiration for Macy’s holiday Believe campaign.
"Virginia’s story was first re-imagined as the animated special Yes, Virginia, which debuted on CBS in 2009. In celebration of the fifth anniversary of Believe, Macy’s developed a school musical adaptation of the story and made the script and score available royalty-free to schools across the country and offered $100,000 in grants to support schools’ productions. That same year, the story was also presented as a marionette show for Macy’s Herald Square flagship in New York City."
For tickets call (513) 381-3300 or visit cincinnatipops.org.