Theater company: "Here's Love"

printed in the Gates-Chili Post, December 11, 2002

By Eric Walter/Messenger Post Staff

What does believing in yourself have to do with the existence of Santa Claus?

Here's Love Rehersal Although it seems like a riddle, that's a question running right through Gates Community Theater's upcoming production "Here's Love. "

"Deep down, we've kind of angled it to be about believing in yourself, " explained director John Barthelmes. "By believing in Santa Claus, you believe in yourself. "

Based on the film "Miracle on 34th Street, " the play outwardly concerns Kris Kringle, a man who manages to prove in court that he is, in fact, Santa Claus.

Just under the surface, however, the play concerns several lonely people who, one way or another, have lost faith with themselves or those around them, said cast member and Westside Drive resident Tracey Smith.

"Each person learns to believe in themselves at about the time they start believing in Kris Kringle, " she added.

A case in point, she said, is her own character Doris Walker, a divorced single mother and junior executive at Macy's Department Store.

Abandoned by her deadbeat husband shortly after the birth of their daughter, Doris has, by the time the play starts, become cynical and bitter about humanity in general.

"She raises her daughter not to believe in happy endings, fairy tales or Prince Charming, " she said.

After her daughter becomes convinced Kringle is who he says he is, however, she finds her own doubt starting to crumble.

Now in rehearsal at Roberts Wesleyan College, "Here's Love " is the town's third annual musical production

All in all, said Barthelmes, things should be set for opening night.

"I'm very happy, the Gates community theater board has been great to work with, " Barthelmes said. "They're very hardworking people - and all the cast is great. "

The play opens with a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday Dec. 14 at Roberts Wesleyan College's Andrew B. Hale Auditorium. It will run for two more performances; one later that night at 7:30 p.m. and another matinee on Sunday, Dec. 15.

Admission price is $8. Tickets can be ordered in person at the Roberts Wesleyan Box Office, or via the mail or phone for a $3 additional charge. Call (585) 594-6008.