Sunday, December 25, 2005
Mrs. Santa Claus
This 1996 made for TV Hallmark film is terrific. Great music and dance routines combined with Angela Lansbury and Lower East Side History. It just came out in DVD. I was showing it to Ms. Rabbe's 4th graders in anticipation of their spring 2006 study of immigration. The song, "Welcome To The World Of Avenue A" has you humming the tune for days. There's talk that a revival of it might come to Broadway in the future (Oh Oh, I'm sounding pretty gay, aren't I?-not that there's anything wrong with that) Here's part of the synopsis of the film: "If ever a movie had Christmas written all over it, it is Mrs. Santa Claus. After a long dry spell for musical fans, Hallmark debuted a truly old-fashioned confection complete with hum able songs by Jerry Herman, sparkling choreography by Rob Marshall, stylish costumes by Bob Mackie and sprightly performances by a cast of talented newcomers as well as movie veterans. The film is filled with snow-covered streets, evergreen-draped mantels and enough Christmas spirit to choke Scrooge. Even the names during the opening title sequence have sprigs of holly underneath. Angela Lansbury stars as the title character, a feisty Mrs. Claus who's a little down in the dumps because Santa (Charles Durning) is so preoccupied with the fast approaching Christmas Eve. She wants to help read the mail, but Santa refuses saying it is addressed to him. She lovingly wraps a scarf around his neck and says, "Well, if you don't need me..." Since Santa barely hears her when she tells him she has worked out a faster route, she decides to try it herself. Mrs. Claus has head elf Arvo (Michael Jeter) hitch up the reindeer and with eager anticipation takes off. Unfortunately bad weather grounds them in 1910 New York and Cupid hurts his leg on the landing. She finds a stable and with the help of Marcello (David Norona) boards the deer so Cupid can rest. Like Dorothy opening the door of her house into the colorful land of Oz, Marcello throws open the large stable doors and allows Mrs. Claus (or Mrs. North as she introduces herself) to enter the bustling world of Avenue A." Here's the entire article and here's a slide show I made with part of the Avenue song combined with selected clips from the movie.