CBS-TV will air the long-awaited Jerry Herman TV musical, "Mrs. Santa Claus," Dec. 8, at 8 - 10PM ET/PT. Starring four-time Tony winner Angela Lansbury, the musical marks her reunion with composer/lyricist Herman, whom she worked with in Dear World and Mame. The musical's soundtrack was released by RCA Victor Nov. 26. It's the Hello, Dolly! composer's first complete new score since La Cage Aux Folles.
"Mrs. Santa Claus" is set in December 1910, when Santa's wife, Anna Claus (Lansbury), decides to take the sleigh out for a pre-Christmas spin, in Mark Saltzman's script. But an injury to reindeer Cupid's leg leaves her stranded in New York City's Lower East Side, where she gets involved in the labor and women's rights movements. She also helps some Christmas love to bloom.
The musical also stars Michael Jeter as Arvo, Santa's head elf, Terrence Mann as Augustus P. Tavish, an unscrupulous toymaker, and Charles Durning as Santa.
Durning won a Tony Award in 1990 for his role as Big Daddy in the Broadway production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof starring Kathleen Turner. Earlier this year, he starred on Broadway opposite George C. Scott in Inherit the Wind.
Jeter won a Tony Award in 1990 as the dying bookkeeper having one last fling, in Tommy Tune's production of Grand Hotel.
Mann has received Tony nominations for his roles as Javert in Les Miserables and the Beast in Beauty and the Beast.
-- By Andrew Ku