Mrs. Santa Claus
|Mrs. Santa Claus|
|Written by||Mark Saltzman|
|Directed by||Terry Hughes|
|Music by||Jerry Herman|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer||David Shaw|
|Producers||J. Boyce Harman Jr.|
|Cinematography||Stephen M. Katz|
|Running time||90 minutes|
|Production companies||Hallmark Entertainment|
|Original release||December 8, 1996|
Mrs. Santa Claus is a 1996 American made-for-television musical fantasy comedy film directed by Terry Hughes with a teleplay by Mark Saltzman. It stars Angela Lansbury in the title role and Charles Durning as her husband, Santa Claus.
The film was billed as the first original musical written for television since Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella in 1957. The special features music by Jerry Herman. It was originally broadcast as a Hallmark Entertainment presentation on CBS on December 8, 1996.
The movie is set in December 1910. Mrs. Santa Claus is trying to convince her husband, Santa Claus, to take a new route, but he is preoccupied with the Christmas rush and won't listen. Disgruntled, she takes the sleigh out herself, but is forced to land in New York City, where she is stranded when one of the reindeer (Cupid) becomes injured. As "Mrs. North", she takes up board with a family of Jewish immigrants who do not celebrate Christmas. She befriends many of the local children and women, and becomes involved with political issues of the period such as child labour and women's suffrage.
- Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Anna Claus
- Charles Durning as Santa Claus
- Terrence Mann as Augie Tavish, owner of Tavish Toys
- Michael Jeter as Arvo, Santa's Head Elf
- Debra Wiseman as Sadie Lowenstein, a Jewish immigrant girl who fights for women's rights
- Lynsey Bartilson as Nora Kilkenny, an Irish immigrant in New York
- Rosalind Harris as Mrs. Lowenstein, Sadie's mother, a Jewish immigrant
- David Norona as Marcello Damoroco, an Italian immigrant in New York, who is in love with Sadie
- Bryan Murray as Police Officer Doyle, an Irish immigrant in New York
Mrs. Santa Claus was filmed from August 12 to September 19, 1996 at the following studios:
- Universal Studios, Universal City, California – exterior scenes of New York City at New York Street backlot set (Stage 22);
- Stewart Stages, Valencia, California – interior scenes of Santa Claus' workshop and Santa's office sets;
- Havenhurst Studios, Van Nuys, California – blue screen filming of Mrs. Claus in the red sleigh pulled by a herd of reindeer.
The film's musical score was written by Jerry Herman, the composer of such hit Broadway musicals as Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles. Directed by Terry Hughes, the costume designer was Bob Mackie with choreography by Rob Marshall. The executive producer, David Shaw, is the stepson of Angela Lansbury. Screenwriter Mark Saltzman based some of the script on family stories of the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
|Mrs. Santa Claus|
(Original TV Cast Recording)
|Released||November 26, 1996|
|Recorded||August 8–22, 1996|
|Studio||O'Henry Sound Studios|
|Producer||Don Pippin, Jerry Herman|
The original television cast recording of Mrs. Santa Claus was recorded from August 8 to 22, 1996 at O'Henry Sound Studios in Burbank, California. It was released on CD and cassette tape by RCA Victor on November 26, 1996.
- Track listing
All tracks are written by Jerry Herman.
|2.||"Seven Days 'Til Christmas"||Michael Jeter, Kristi Lynes, Jamie Torcellini and Angela Lansbury||1:07|
|3.||"Mrs. Santa Claus"||Lansbury||3:01|
|4.||"Avenue A"||David Norona, Grace Keagy, Linda Kerns and Ensemble||6:33|
|5.||"Avenue A (Reprise)"||Lansbury||0:44|
|6.||"A Tavish Toy"||Terrence Mann||1:51|
|8.||"Almost Young (Reprise)"||Lansbury and The Kids||0:37|
|9.||"Suffragette March"||Kerns, Keagy, Debra Wiseman, Lansbury and Women||2:11|
|10.||"We Don't Go Together at All"||Wiseman and Norona||2:58|
|11.||"Whistle"||Lansbury and Lynsey Bartilson||3:17|
|12.||"Dear Mrs. Santa Claus"||Charles Durning||1:47|
|13.||"Whistle (Reprise)"||Bartilson and Lansbury||0:46|
|14.||"He Needs Me"||Lansbury||3:44|
|15.||"The Best Christmas of All"||Durning, Lansbury and Company||3:21|
The film's original broadcast brought in a 14.7/22 rating share, easily winning its timeslot, and tying with a special Thursday repeat of Men Behaving Badly on NBC, for #3 out of 110 programs airing that week.
Awards and nominations
|1997||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Choreography||Rob Marshall||Nominated|
|Art Direction - Miniseries or a Special||Mary Dodson||Nominated|||
|Costume Design - Miniseries or a Special||Bob Mackie||Nominated|
|Outstanding Hairstyling - Miniseries or a Special||Dorothy Andre and Lola 'Skip' McNalley||Won|
|Outstanding Music and Lyrics - "Mrs. Santa Claus"||Jerry Herman||Nominated|
Mrs. Santa Claus was released on VHS and Laserdisc on October 21, 1997 and again on VHS September 18, 2001. It was first released on DVD on September 23, 2003 and was long been out of print until a 2018 re-release by Sonar Entertainment.
- Mrs. Santa Claus production notes, retrieved December 27, 2015.
- Lansbury Sings 'Mrs. Santa Claus' to Life at Los Angeles Times
- Mrs. Santa Claus at Variety, retrieved December 27, 2015.
- Barnes, Mike (2016-02-21). "Mary Weaver Dodson, Art Director on 'Murder, She Wrote,' Dies at 83". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-03-13. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Mrs. Santa Claus - IMDb, retrieved 2020-12-29