The belief in Santa Claus varies from person to person, but the belief in "Kris Kringle," doesn't waver at all. Everyone involved says this show is headed straight to Broadway.
This journey to the North Pole by way of Cleveland and hopefully, Broadway, started when New York attorney Maria Ciampi decided to write a screen play. She was also born on Christmas day, so the magic around Dec. 25 was a natural starting point.
Ciampi says, "If you're a person who loves Christmas, you're going to love Christmas even more. If you're a person who Christmas has lost a little luster, you're going to love Christmas again if you see our show."
It took years of turning that screen play into a staged musical, showcasing it, rewrites, staged readings, more rewrites, auditions and casting. "Kris Kringle" is finally ready to shimmy down the chimney and onto the stage at Olmstead Performing Arts, using Cleveland as a test run for the bright lights of Broadway.
John Thomas, a Broadway producer working on the show, helped to bring the show to the Cleveland area for its test run. "Cleveland is... one of the number one theater communities in the entire United States and knowing people here who are the best in the business that we could really put together a great show. To me, it's kind of showing people, you can do something like this in Cleveland," says Thomas.
On the stage, local actors carrying out Ciampi's vision. In the audience, there will be booking agents, producers, investors all in town to get a look at the show and see if Kris Kringle is worthy of delivering his goodies to New York next Christmas.
Sitting right alongside them will be curious show attendees, made up of moms and dads, and children.
Ciampi and Thomas say they are sure they'll all walk away believing in Christmas and in Kris Kringle.