Lynda Purdie has her hands (and legs) busy this month since she has taken on the double task of stage manager and choreographer for Bellingham Theatre Guild’s production of “Miracle on 34th Street,” the holiday musical based on the 1947 movie starring young Natalie Wood. The play opens Friday, Nov. 28, and runs through Dec. 14.
Lynda’s husband, John, is currently president of the guild. Here’s how she became involved in the show.
I also did a couple of musicals when I was in college. I got back involved with theater when my children started acting. All three of my girls have been very involved with local theater groups and even though I tried not to be the stereotypical “stage mom,” I would often stay for rehearsals and help backstage during their shows. This allowed me to see how a show gets put together from beginning to end and what it takes to make a show amazing.
When Ed and Julie Zavala-Marantette announced they were going to direct “Miracle on 34th Street,” I asked if I could help out with the show. I signed on as stage manager and have also taken on the role of choreographer, with a lot of help from cast members.
It has been so great working with the cast and crew that has been assembled for this show. Not only do we have a cast that spans the ages of 6 to 60-ish, we have seasoned veterans as well as people who this is either their first show or first show in many years, which is typical of a show at the guild.
The storyline stays fairly true to the original movie. A white-bearded gentleman claiming to be the real Santa Claus brings about a genuine miracle, spreading a wave of love throughout New York City, fostering camaraderie between Macy’s and Gimbels department stores, and convincing a divorced cynical single mother, her somber daughter, and the entire state of New York that Santa is no myth.
I think people will be leaving the show having a renewed faith in Santa and humming some catchy tunes written by Meredith Willson (who wrote “The Music Man”). I know I do after every rehearsal.