Claus or not? CSTOCK musical opens Friday

"While staying true to the classic 1947 holiday film, the stage musical version of Miracle on 34th Street'' makes contemporary references to Christina Aguilera, X-Men, N'Sync, rap, A Christmas Story'' and Home Alone.'' "

“While staying true to the classic 1947 holiday film, the stage musical version of Miracle on 34th Street” makes contemporary references to Christina Aguilera, X-Men, N’Sync, rap, A Christmas Story” and Home Alone.” I threw those in,” said director Randal Powell, whose show opens Friday at the Silverdale Community Center. I wanted to modernize the play,” CSTOCK’s production of Miracle on 34th Street” retains the themes of faith in something unexplainable, and that Christmas transcends commercialism. It’s a great family show,” said Powell, who is making his CSTOCK directorial debut. The musical is staged at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 6 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 17 at the Silverdale Community Center, 9729 Silverdale Way. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for children ages 11 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the Kitsap Mall information booth, by calling (360) 692-9940, or checking out the website at CSTOCK.org. In the play, Doris Walker, an employee of Macy’s Department Store on 34th Street in New York City, hires a man named Kris Kringle to play Santa. She gets upset when her neighbor Fred brings her very serious young daughter Susan to the store to see St. Nick; after all, her daughter doesn’t need to believe in fantasy. When Doris calls in Kris to prove to Susan he is simply playing a role, he insists he really is Santa Claus. He then has to prove his claim in court. The play by Dave Brandl is adapted from the book by Valentine Davis. The music is written by Central Kitsap songwriter Gwen Adams, who also wrote some of the lyrics; other lyrics are penned by Powell and his father Randy Powell, also a CSTOCK director. Making her stage debut as the little girl is 10-year-old Aubrey Beard, who captures the serious nature of Susan. I was amazed when she showed up … All the other kids were too much like kids,” Powell said. Playing her mother is Kim Enloe, whose stage credits include Brigadoon” at CSTOCK, and South Pacific” and Moon Over Buffalo” at Bremerton Community Theatre. Santa Claus is portrayed by Ken Stephens, a veteran of The Roving Players and Kingston Little Theatre making his CSTOCK debut. Playing the neighbor Fred is Morgan Gray, whose entire family appears in the play. The cast also features Kathy Berg, Ethan Bernstein, Alana Cartwright, Dan DiVittorio, Allison Engelhard, Eric Engelhard, Leslie Engelhard, Tyler Enloe, Brianne Gray, Cindi Gray, Morgan Gray, Jr., Anastasia Grummel, Kate O’Hearn, Zach Parker, Damon Reece, Jessica Simpson, Gary Spees, Becky Stansbury, Heather Underwood, Jerry Yogt, David Welch, Judy Welch and Phil Welch. Powell recently moved to Kitsap from Boise, Idaho, where he was active in theater as an actor, director, assistant director, stage manager and student. He has studied at Cornish College of Arts in Seattle, and performed in Bremerton Community Theatre productions of South Pacific” and The Music Man.” The Dispute Resolution Center hosts the Dec. 3 show, with holiday desserts and beverages served at intermission. Tickets are $15, all proceeds benefit the organization. For more information, call (360) 377-4225. The TEAM program from Tracyton Elementary hosts the Dec. 9 show as a fundraiser to support its outdoor education program. Tickets are $12.50 – which includes refreshments – and can be purchased at (360) 698-6706 or thompsonfarms@earthlink.net. CSTOCK’s next musical is Grease,” staged Feb. 16 through March 11. Auditions for director Greg Williams are hosted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 1-4 p.m. Sunday at the theater. The cast calls for teens and young adults, singers and dancers, and a male guitarist. Auditioners should arrive with a prepared song and short comic monologue. WHO: Central Stage Theatre of County Kitsap (CSTOCK) WHAT: The musical Miracle on 34th Street” WHEN: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 6 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 17 TICKETS: Adults $8, kids 11 and younger $6 RESERVATIONS: (360) 692-9940 “

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