Mrs. Santa Claus
Music and Lyrics By: Jerry Herman
Distributed by: Masterworks Broadway
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I love the holiday season and all it has to bring - the joy, the laughter, the holiday specials. Yes, I often watch the holiday specials that air around Christmas to see if they can bring anything new to the table. Well, I can honestly say that I had never heard of Mrs. Santa Claus, a television musical special starring Angela Lansbury that aired in 1996. So, I was intrigued when I received the soundtrack recently released by Masterworks Broadway for review.
The time is 1910 and Santaís wife (Angela Lansbury) has been attempting to get her husband (Charles Durning) to take a different route to deliver his presents this Christmas. Unfortunately, the old man just wonít pay her any attention, so she decides to test the route her self on Christmas Eve. As luck would have it, sheís grounded in New York City when Cupid injures his leg. She stays at a boarding house on Avenue A where she meets an interesting and diverse assortment of people. She also gets involved in the political issues of the day, becoming active in womenís suffrage and child labor issues. Before long, Cupidís leg is healed and Mrs. Santa Claus returns home to her husband who has missed her so much, he has decided to ask her to join him in making his Christmas deliveries this year.
Mrs. Santa Claus is an interesting musical. I found their take on Santaís relationship with his wife rather interesting. Many cartoons and specials have painted Mrs. Claus to be a rather independent, feisty, take charge sort of girl, so I was surprised when Mrs. Claus felt her opinions meant nothing to her husband. However, much like the other tales Iíve watched or read, Mrs. Claus is not one to be taken lightly and decides to set out to prove a point. In the process, she helps aid the community she briefly stays in and gets her husband's attention.
I enjoyed the musical and its quirky, catchy tunes. The only complaint I have is that there is not one single Christmas song in the bunch. I really wasnít expecting the tried and true favorites like Silver Bells or Santa Claus is Coming to Town, but at least something with a Christmas sort of feel. Instead, there were catchy, realistic songs discussing the diversity of Avenue A, songs about the fight for womenís voting rights and more. Nothing really Christmasy in the bunch.
Despite that, I found Mrs. Santa Claus to be quite entertaining and the music to be catchy enough that I was singing along by the second time I played the album. This is a fun holiday gift for any fan of Broadway musicals.