The Cary Players’ production of Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus, an old fashioned live radio play, is a festive way to welcome the fast-approaching holiday season. Delightful pre-show music from members of the cast and the elaborate decorations of Cary Town Hall warm everyone up with the Christmas spirit and prepare the audience for this lively show.
While the show features a very large cast, young Virginia (Alexandra Merz) and her struggling family lie at the heart of the story. Virginia, at the promptings of her father (Jeffrey Nugent), writes a letter to The Sun in the hopes of finding the answer to her doubts about Santa Claus’ existence. The beautiful reply that she receives from the bitter hard-drinking editor of the paper, Frank P. Church (Geoff Zieman), and the events that it sets in motion are believably heartwarming. Even for those audience members who know the story well, this performance still brings it to a glittering life and makes for a fun evening of holiday entertainment.
Merz is cute and believable in her role as Virginia, and her younger brother, Sean (Jayce Kelly), comes close to stealing the show with his adorable antics. Most impressive is Nugent’s portrayal of her father, complete with a very authentic Irish accent, and Zieman’s tough-but-sweet portrayal of the legendary Church.
Jon Dietz’s simple but beautiful set, featuring wrapped gifts, lighted Christmas trees, and, for a realistic touch, a big radio station logo and an authentic “On Air” sign serve as the backdrop for all the action, and LeGrande Smith brings the time period to life with her colorful costumes, one of the real highlights of the evening. Filled with fun and childlike wonder, Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus is the perfect holiday show for the whole family to enjoy.