Mrs. Santa Claus

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Mrs. Santa Claus
Mrs. Santa Claus film poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Genre
  • Comedy
  • Family
  • Fantasy
Written byMark Saltzman
Directed byTerry Hughes
StarringAngela Lansbury
Charles Durning
Michael Jeter
Terrence Mann
Lynsey Bartilson
David Norona
Music byJerry Herman
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Production
Executive producerDavid Shaw
ProducersJ. Boyce Harman Jr.
Eric Ellenbogen
CinematographyStephen M. Katz
EditorStan Cole
Running time90 minutes
Production companiesHallmark Entertainment
Corymore Productions
DistributorCBS
Budget$11,000,000 [1]
Release
Original networkCBS
Original releaseDecember 8, 1996 (1996-12-08)

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.[2]

Premise[edit]

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.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Mrs. Santa Claus was filmed from August 12 to September 19, 1996 at the following studios:[3]

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.

Soundtrack[edit]

Mrs. Santa Claus
(Original TV Cast Recording)
Soundtrack album
ReleasedNovember 26, 1996
RecordedAugust 8–22, 1996
StudioO'Henry Sound Studios
Burbank, California
Length40:50
LabelRCA Victor
ProducerDon 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.

No.TitlePerformer(s)Length
1."Overture"Jerry Herman6:09
2."Seven Days 'Til Christmas"Michael Jeter, Kristi Lynes, Jamie Torcellini and Angela Lansbury1:07
3."Mrs. Santa Claus"Lansbury3:01
4."Avenue A"David Norona, Grace Keagy, Linda Kerns and Ensemble6:33
5."Avenue A (Reprise)"Lansbury0:44
6."A Tavish Toy"Terrence Mann1:51
7."Almost Young"Lansbury2:49
8."Almost Young (Reprise)"Lansbury and The Kids0:37
9."Suffragette March"Kerns, Keagy, Debra Wiseman, Lansbury and Women2:11
10."We Don't Go Together at All"Wiseman and Norona2:58
11."Whistle"Lansbury and Lynsey Bartilson3:17
12."Dear Mrs. Santa Claus"Charles Durning1:47
13."Whistle (Reprise)"Bartilson and Lansbury0:46
14."He Needs Me"Lansbury3:44
15."The Best Christmas of All"Durning, Lansbury and Company3:21
Total length:41:55

Reception[edit]

Nielsen ratings[edit]

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.[4][5]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
1997 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Choreography Rob Marshall Nominated
Art Direction - Miniseries or a Special Mary Dodson Nominated [6]
Costume Design - Miniseries or a Special Bob Mackie Nominated
Outstanding Hairstyling - Miniseries or a Special Dorothy Andre and Lola 'Skip' McNalley[7] Won
Outstanding Music and Lyrics - "Mrs. Santa Claus" Jerry Herman Nominated

Home media[edit]

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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mrs. Santa Claus production notes, retrieved December 27, 2015.
  2. ^ Lansbury Sings 'Mrs. Santa Claus' to Life at Los Angeles Times
  3. ^ Mrs. Santa Claus at Variety, retrieved December 27, 2015.
  4. ^ https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-BC/BC-1996/BC-1996-12-16.pdf
  5. ^ http://tvtango.com/listings/1996/12/08/
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Mrs. Santa Claus - IMDb, retrieved 2020-12-29

External links[edit]