A live action version of a cinematic Christmas classic is coming to Delaware courthouses for the 20th straight year.
First State courts will offer performances of “Miracle on 34th Street” at each of the three county courthouses between Dec. 12 to Dec. 15.
The two-decade tradition returned to live-action last year after the pandemic forced the event to go virtual.
More than 1,500 students from across the state – in grades three to five – will be attending one of the 12 performances.
In addition to spreading a little holiday joy, the performances are intended to give students some insight into how the court system works.
According to the courthouses, a bunch of schools are invited to attend on a first-come, first-served basis and once all the slots are filled they close registration.
“Miracle on 34th St.” revolves around an old man named Kris Kringle who becomes a very popular Santa at Macy’s in Manhattan. When Kringle claims he’s really Santa, the ensuing hubbub ends up in court to determine his mental health as well as whether his claim is really true.
The 1947 film starred Edmund Gwenn as Kringle, with single mom Maureen O’Hara and her daughter, played by Natalie Wood, getting swept up in the fray.
Family Court Judge James McGiffin will once again play the role of Santa, and retired Judge M. Jane Brady will reprise the role of defense attorney.
McGriffin certainly fits the role, as he shares a certain fuzzy resemblance to Saint Nick.
“I got the Kris Kringle gig by sitting next to Richard Herrmann during the annual bar investiture ceremony,” McGriffin said. “We were both moving the admission of new lawyers. In December, I always wear a full beard (for other Santa purposes) and when Richard got a look at me, he decided he found his successor to the convener of the Miracle troupe.”
Judges Craig Karsnitz, Superior Court; retired Superior Court Judge William L. Witham, Jr.; Family Court Commissioner Danielle Blount; and Family Court Chief Judge Michael Newell will take turns in the role of judge.
Court staff and other members of the Delaware Bar will fill out the rest of the cast.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
Jarek can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at (215) 450-9982. Follow him on Twitter @jarekrutz
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