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Holiday play to open next week on Franklin stage

Santa, played by Ed Eyestone, with Lauren Yeager. Santa will appear after the matinee performances of “Miracle on 34th Street” at the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd. The dates are Dec. 16-17. Submitted photo

The Christmas play titled "Miracle on 34th Street" will open next week at the Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd.

The holiday production presented by the Retirement Learning Center and the Stage North Theatre Company will run 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14-16 and at 2 p.m. Dec. 16-17.

Based on the 1947 film, this stage version brings all 43 characters to life. "Miracle on 34th Street" is the heartwarming holiday story of Kris Kringle, an old man in a retirement home, who gets a job working as Santa for Macy's, a news release stated. Kris unleashes waves of good will with Macy's customers by referring parents to other stores to find exactly the toy their child has asked for.

Playing the leading role of Kris Kringle is veteran actor Ed Eyestone, recently seen on Stage North's "On Golden Pond" and Central Lakes College's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."

The romantic leads are played by Sadie Wunder and Kevin Yeager. Wunder, an actress familiar to the Franklin stage, plays Doris, the woman who hires Kris. Yeager, co-founder of Stage North, plays her neighbor Fred, a lawyer who defends Kris in the latter part of the play.

"If you liked the chemistry between Kevin and Sadie in 'It's a Wonderful Life,' you'll love them in 'Miracle on 34th Street,'" the news release stated.

Up and coming actress Lillian Pringle plays Susan, Doris' daughter. Kris has his hands full trying to convince Susan he is indeed the real Santa Claus.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors age 62 and older and $5 for children. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at the A 2 Z Yarn Shop in the Franklin Arts Center, online at www.stagenorththeater.com or by phone 218-232-6810.

After the 2 p.m. matinees Dec. 16 and 17, Santa will be available for children. People may bring their own camera if they'd like a photo.

Stage North is also working with the Salvation Army Angel Tree program to collect Christmas gifts for children in need this year.Those who would like to help may bring an unwrapped gift to Franklin and put it under the tree in the lobby.

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