The Christmas Santa Almost Missed
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The Christmas Santa Almost Missed

Santa has broken his leg and prospects for Christmas are looking bleak. His best hope lies in a boy who doesn’t believe in him.

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The Christmas Santa Almost Missed

Santa has broken his leg and prospects for Christmas are looking bleak. His best hope lies in a boy who doesn’t believe in him.


Author:    Judy Wolfman

Composer/Lyricist:    David Reiser

Synopsis:

     A month before Christmas, Santa falls off a ladder and breaks his leg. The doctor’s orders are to stay off it until it heals and he must wear a cast and use crutches. Now unable to get in and out of his sleigh, go up and down chimneys or deliver toys for Christmas, Santa needs a helper. 
     None of his friends (Easter Bunny, Cinderella, Snow White and so on) are able or willing to help him. His PR man sends out a bulletin on the airwaves, which brings in several candidates. 
     The one selected to do the job is an orphan who never had Christmas, and doesn’t believe in Santa. He agrees to help, however, and during the Christmas Eve ride is so impressed he comes to believe in Christmas and Santa. 
     Santa and Mrs. Claus are also impressed and offer to adopt him, promising a real family.

     This is a fun little musical by one of our most popular writer composer duos.

The Christmas Santa Almost Missed

The Christmas Santa Almost Missed

Book by Judy Wolfman

Music and Lyrics by David Reiser



The Christmas Santa Almost Missed

 Copyright 2013  

by 

Judy Wolfman and David Reiser

All Rights Reserved

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that THE CHRISTMAS SANTA ALMOST MISSED is subject to a royalty.  It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, the British Commonwealth, including Canada, and all other countries of the Copyright Union.  All rights, including professional, amateur, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, and the rights of translation into foreign language are strictly reserved. 

The amateur live stage performance rights to THE CHRISTMAS SANTA ALMOST MISSED are controlled exclusively by Drama Source and royalty arrangements and licenses must be secured well in advance of presentation.  PLEASE NOTE that amateur royalty fees are set upon application in accordance with your producing circumstances.  When applying for a royalty quotation and license please give us the number of performances intended and dates of production.  Royalties are payable one week before the opening performance of the play to Drama Source Co., 1588 E. 361 N., St. Anthony, Idaho 83445, unless other arrangements are made. 

Royalty of the required amount must be paid whether the play is presented for charity or gain, and whether or not admission is charged.  For all other rights than those stipulated above, apply to Drama Source Company, 1588 E. 361 N. St. Anthony, Idaho 83445.

Copying from this book in whole or in part is strictly forbidden by law, and the right of performance is not transferable.

Whenever the play is produced, the following notice must appear on all programs, printing and advertising for the play, “Produced by special arrangement with Drama Source Co.”

Due authorship credit must be given on all programs, printing and advertising for the play.

No one shall commit or authorize any act or omission by which the copyright or the rights to copyright of this play may be impaired.

No one shall make changes in this play for the purpose of production without written permission.

Publication of this play does not imply availability for performance.    Both amateurs and professionals considering a production are strongly advised in their own interests to apply to Drama Source Company for written permission before starting rehearsals, advertising, or booking a theatre.

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, by any means, now known or yet to be invented, including mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording, videotaping or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.



CAST

In Order of Appearance)

Santa Rounded body, long white beard, white eyebrows. Eye glasses.  Warm, caring.

Mrs. Claus Pleasant, caring, warm woman. Wears housedress with an apron over it.

Doc Personable and pleasant. Carries a black bag with him with his stethoscope inside, which he can take out and put around his neck. Efficient in his work.

Mark Santa’s PR and Marketing man. Bright, quick to respond to Santa’s needs.

Candidates 3 talkative people eagerly seeking the job as Santa’s helper 

Freddy Poor soul – not very happy, suspicious of everything, a non-believer.  Initially, has low self-esteem, but gradually feels better about himself and responds to everyone in a positive manner.

Alf An active elf, eager to please Santa and Freddy.

Sparky Elf with a sense of humor – that doesn’t always work.

Elves As many as desired, each carrying work tools.

VOICES OFF STAGE – Easter Bunny and Radio Announcer


NOTE: Freddy, Alf and Sparky can be played by females. If Freddy is a girl, the name can be changed to Fredricka and male pronouns should be changed to female.



THE CHRISTMAS SANTA ALMOST MISSED

AT RISE OF CURTAIN – Santa and his wife are in their living room, relaxing. Mrs. Claus is knitting, and Santa is reading.

SANTA (Looking up from his book.) This book is so interesting; it’s hard to put it down. But I’ve taken a longer break than I should have, and now it’s time for me to get over to the shop and see how the elves are doing.

MRS. C. I’m sure they’re getting along fine without you, dear. But before you go, would you please do me a favor? The light bulb in the ceiling fixture in the kitchen has burned out. I’d appreciate it if you’d put this new one in. (She hands him a light bulb.)

SANTA (Taking the bulb.) Sure, I can do that. I’ll pick up the ladder and take care of it right away. (He exits Stage Left)

MRS. C. (Calling after him.) Be careful, dear. 

SANTA (Off stage.) Don’t worry; I’ll watch my step. 

MRS. C. Santa is a darling and tries to be helpful around the house. He’s very good at making toys, but when it comes to fixing things around the house – well let me just say that sometimes he’s a bit clumsy.  (From off stage, left, there’s a crash, and the sound of glass breaking. Santa yells, moans and groans.)

MRS. C. (Hastily putting her knitting on the table next to her and rising.) Santa – what happened? Are you all right?

SANTA (Still groaning.) No, I’m not all right. I fell off the ladder and I think I broke my leg.

MRS. C. (Runs off Stage L. From off stage we hear the following conversation.)  Lean on me and I’ll try to help you up.

SANTA Owww. I don’t think I can stand.

MRS. C. Then I’ll have to help you – hang onto me.

(They both return to center stage – Mrs. Claus is supporting Santa, who is dragging his right leg behind him, grimacing and whining the entire time. When they reach Santa’s reclining chair, he flops into it.)

MRS. C. You sit right there. I’ll go into the kitchen and call the doctor. (She exits stage L. We hear her one-sided conversation with the doctor -) I’m so glad you’re in, Doctor. This is Mrs. Claus. Santa just fell off a ladder and we think he may have broken his leg. Can you come over? (Pause) That’s wonderful! We’ll look for you shortly. And thank you! (She hangs up and returns to Santa.)

MRS. C. Doc says he’ll be right over. We’re lucky this happened at the end of his day. He was getting ready to go home, but will stop by on his way. Meanwhile, he said not to move your leg if you can help it.

SANTA I’ll do my best to keep it still. Can you help me put it up on the footstool? I think it will feel better than letting it hang down.

MRS. C (Places a footstool in front of Santa, and gently lifts his leg to rest on it.) How does that feel?

SANTA Much better. Thanks. I don’t know how I managed to fall off the ladder – I thought it was secure, but I guess I was wrong. The whole thing gave way. I could feel myself falling, but couldn’t do a thing about it.

MRS. C Accidents happen, but you really must be more careful in the future. (She glances toward the window.) I believe I see the doctor walking up the sidewalk. I’ll meet him at the door. (She exits Stage R)  (Offstage conversation.) It didn’t take you long to get here, Doc. Come in. Santa is sitting in the living room with his foot elevated. 

DOC (Entering the living room behind Mrs. Claus.) Well, Santa, how did you manage to do this – especially since you’re getting ready to make your rounds in a few weeks.

SANTA Don’t remind me, Doc. Just tell me if the leg is broken, or sprained.

DOC (Examines the leg, gently pushing and prodding, while Santa responds with appropriate groans, verbal “Ouches”, and comments such as “Take it easy, Doc. That hurts.”) Well, Santa, I’d say you did a good job! Your leg is broken all right. Doesn’t look like you’ll be able to walk on it for several weeks.

SANTA Several weeks? That can’t be! 

DOC But that’s the way it is, my friend. Looks like this is one Christmas you’ll have to miss, but the good news is that by next Christmas, you’ll be as good as new.

SANTA Doc, I can’t possibly miss Christmas! I’ve got to start delivering toys in four weeks. Can’t you do something to speed it up? Get me on my feet quicker?

DOC I wish I could, Santa, but I’m a doctor – not a miracle worker. I’ll put a wrap on the leg for now, and return later with a cast and some crutches so at least you’ll be able to move around. But that leg has to heal before it can support your weight.

SANTA What if I lose weight? Would that make any difference?

DOC (Laughing) I’m afraid not. You’ll just have to let nature take its course. (While he’s talking he’s taking out a big ace bandage roll and begins to wrap it around Santa’s leg.)

SANTA What am I supposed to do? I can’t sit at home when it’s Christmas.

DOC Maybe you could get a helper. One of your buddies. Perhaps one of the elves could do the job this year.

SANTA Not possible. They do a great job in the workshop, but they’re too small to lift my bag, go down the chimneys and deliver the toys. That’s more than they could handle.

DOC You’re right – I wasn’t thinking about their size. What about the Easter Bunny? Doesn’t he cover the same route that you do when he delivers eggs and candy at Easter time?

SANTA That’s a good thought, Doc. I’ll get in touch with him. Maybe we could work something out.

DOC (Finishing up his wrap, puts everything back into his bag.) That should hold you for now. I’ll be back tomorrow with the cast and crutches. Meanwhile, take it easy, and don’t try to do anything foolish.

SANTA You have my word on it, Doc. Thanks for everything, I’ll look forward to your visit tomorrow. 

DOC (To Mrs. Claus). You stay here – I can let myself out. (He exits Stage R.)

MRS. C It’s too bad this didn’t happen in January instead of December. You wouldn’t have had to worry about going out in the sleigh, and you’d have plenty of time to allow the leg to heal. 

SANTA Yeah. But it’s so close to Christmas. (music intros; he sings)


SONG–IT’S SO CLOSE TO CHRISTMAS


SANTA

IT’S SO CLOSE TO CHRISTMAS—

WITH SO MUCH TO BE DONE.

WHO IS TRAINED 

TO HITCH UP REINDEER?

I’M THE ONLY ONE!


MRS. C

IT’S SO CLOSE TO CHRISTMAS—

HOW WILL YOU DRIVE YOUR SLEIGH?

WHO WILL TAKE

THE TOYS YOU MAKE

FOR KIDS ON CHRISTMAS DAY?


SANTA

HOW’LL I SLIDE DOWN THE CHIMNEY

WHEN IT’S HARD TO STAND UP STRAIGHT?

HAVE I STILL GOT IT IN ME?

OR WILL CHRISTMAS HAVE TO WAIT?


MRS. C

IT’S SO CLOSE TO CHRISTMAS—

SOMEONE MUST GO SOMEHOW.

WHO WILL EAT

THE LITTLE TREAT

OF MILK AND COOKIES NOW?


SANTA

WHO WILL FILL UP EACH STOCKING,

OR LEAVE PRESENTS BY THE TREE?

AND THE ANSWER IS SHOCKING—

I DON’T THINK THAT PERSON’S ME!


BOTH

IT’S SO CLOSE TO CHRISTMAS—

TODAY MY GREATEST FEAR

HAS JUST OCCURRED:

I’M VERY WORRIED

WE’LL MISS CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR!


MRS. C Well, somebody’s got to go. You can’t disappoint all those boys and girls. Are you going to call the Easter Bunny like Doc suggested?

SANTA Indeed I will – right now. (He picks up his cell phone and punches in some numbers. He pauses while the phone rings on the other end. From off stage we hear the Easter Bunny in a sleepy voice answer.)

BUNNY (Slightly mumbling.) Hello.

SANTA Hey, Easter Bunny, this is your friend from the North Pole.

BUNNY Huh? (Yawns.) Who did you say this was?

SANTA Santa Claus – from the North Pole.

BUNNY Santa, why are you calling me? Don’t you know this is my sleeping time?

SANTA Sorry, but I have an emergency situation and I need your help.

BUNNY What’s the emergency? It better be important to wake me up.

SANTA It is, I can assure you. This afternoon I fell off a ladder and broke my leg, and I won’t be able to use it for several weeks. That means I won’t be able to get in and out of the sleigh, go down chimneys, and deliver toys to the children on Christmas.

BUNNY Sorry to hear that, Santa. What do you want me to do?

SANTA I thought that since you know the route, you would cover for me.

BUNNY You mean you want me to make the world trip twice this year? Come on, Santa, that’s asking a lot of me. That’s a hard trip, as you know, and it’s bad enough to make it once a year – but two times? No thank you!

SANTA It would only be for this year, and I’ll never ask you again.

BUNNY I’d like to help you out, Santa, but I’m afraid I can’t do it. Sorry. I hope you can find someone else. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go back to sleep. Goodbye, and good luck!

SANTA Goodbye, and thanks. (Click of the phones hanging up.)

MRS. C What did he say?

SANTA He said “no”. Now what can I do? Who can I get?

MRS. C Why don’t you call in your marketing and public relations staff? Perhaps they’ll have some thoughts.

SANTA Good idea. (He picks up his cell phone and dials.) Hey Mark, this is Santa. (Pause) Yes, news travels fast – I did fall off a ladder and broke my leg. Doc says I’ll be out of commission for several weeks and won’t be able to make the deliveries this year. So, I want you and your staff to find a helper for me. I’ll be able to drive the sleigh, and the elves will load it for me, but I won’t be able to get in and out of the sleigh, go down the chimneys and deliver the toys. See what you can do and call me back as soon as you can. (Pause) Yes, sooner is better. Call me tomorrow morning, OK? (Pause) Yes, I’ll be here. Where else would I be? (Pause) Fine. Talk to you tomorrow. Goodnight, and thanks. (He clicks off his cell phone.) They’ll get on it right away, and call me tomorrow morning. So I guess there’s nothing more I can do except get a good night’s rest.

MRS. C I’ll go into the kitchen and fix supper for us. Meanwhile, why don’t you take a nap, and I’ll bring your supper to you when it’s ready.

SANTA You’re a good woman, Mrs. Claus. The best thing I ever did was marry you! (He yawns.) A nap sounds like a good idea. (He leans back in his chair, closes his eyes and is soon softly snoring. Mrs. Claus tiptoes off Stage L as the lights dim, curtain closes.)


SCENE 2: Next Morning

(Same place, the next morning. Stage is brightly lit. Santa is still in his chair, asleep and snoring. Mrs. Claus enters from Stage L and gently shakes Santa, who wakes up with a start.)

MRS. C Good morning, sleepy head. Did you sleep well?

SANTA (Sits up, rubs his eyes, stretches, yawns.) Is it morning all ready? I thought you were going to bring me my supper?

MRS. C I did, but you were in such a sound sleep I didn’t have the heart to disturb you. I thought it was more important for you to sleep than it was to eat. I’ll get breakfast ready and bring that to you. (She turns to exit stage L just as there is a knock at the door.) I wonder who that could be so early in the morning. Guess I better go to the door to find out. (She exits stage R, and quickly returns.) Santa, Mark is here. He and his staff have been up all night trying to get a helper.

MARK              Good morning, Santa. I thought it best to come see you with my report, instead of calling you. I hope it’s not too early.

SANTA Not at all. Come sit down and tell me what you’ve found.

MRS. C If you’ll excuse me, I’ll go into the kitchen and prepare breakfast.

SANTA That can wait. Stay and listen to what Mark has to say.

MARK             My staff and I called everyone we could think of – Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and every other character we could come up with. Although they were all sorry to hear of your accident and plight, not one of them volunteered to be your helper this Christmas. (music intros; he sings) 

SONG—THE PLAN


MARK

RED RIDING HOOD

REPLIED SHE WOULD,

BUT CHRISTMAS, SHE CAN’T DO.

SHE’S GOT TO GO

TO GRANDMA’S THOUGH

WE KNOW THE WOLF’S THERE, TOO!


AND CINDERELLA’S

NOT TOO WELL,

SHE’S COME DOWN WITH THE FLU.

SHE’S HAD IT SINCE

SHE LEFT THE PRINCE

AT MIDNIGHT WITH HER SHOE.


SANTA

HOW ABOUT SNOW WHITE?

DO YOU THINK SHE MIGHT–?


MARK (shakes head, “no)

EVER SINCE THE APPLE BITE,

SHE’S BEEN OUT, JUST LIKE YOUR LIGHT. (points to kitchen)


BUT DON’T DESPAIR

I THINK THAT THERE’S

A WAY AROUND THIS MESS.

I’LL GO TO RADIO

AND TV–WE WILL SEE SUCCESS!

AND THOSE WHO HEAR 

WILL VOLUNTEER—


SANTA

YOU’RE BRILLIANT!


MARK (not too humbly)

WELL, I GUESS!


SANTA (Excited) How will it work?

MARK              We’ll go to the media and announce that we’re conducting interviews for a helper, and anyone interested in applying can contact us at the North Pole. We’ll open all our lines to receive the calls, and set up appointments for you. I can’t guarantee that this will work, but it’s worth a try. What do we have to lose?

SANTA You’re right, Mark. Get on it right away.

MARK                It’s as good as done. I’ll be in touch. Meanwhile, keep your radio on so you can hear when the release is aired. Gotta run. (He exits Stage R.)

MRS. C That sounded encouraging, don’t you think? I’ll turn the radio on for you so you won’t miss the broadcast. Then, I’ll get our breakfast. You must be starving by now! (She turns on a table radio beside him, kisses him on the cheek, and exits Stage L.)

ANNOUNCER  (Voice from off-stage.) We interrupt this broadcast with a special bulletin. This just came in from the North Pole. Santa Claus has a broken leg as a result of a fall from a ladder when he was attempting to replace a burned out light bulb in a kitchen ceiling fixture. According to the report, Santa’s leg will be in a cast and he will use crutches for several weeks, until his leg heals enabling him to walk. This means that Santa will not be able to get in and out of his sleigh and go down chimneys to deliver toys to the children this Christmas. However, he will be able to drive his sleigh, but he needs a helper to make the deliveries. Anyone interested in applying for this job must do so within the next six hours so interview appointments can be scheduled. Call the North Pole now at 42352-33451-4323. That number again is (slower) 4-2-3-5-2-3-3-4-5-1-4-3-2-3. Santa’s staff is standing by.

DOC (Entering unannounced.) Good morning, everyone. I knocked on the door but I guess you didn’t hear me. I’m ready to put your cast on Santa, and I’ve brought you these crutches (he holds up a pair of crutches). I’ll put them next to your chair so they’ll be easy to reach.

MARK (Bursting into the room.) Did you hear that, Santa? (Sees Doc.) Sorry, I didn’t know you had a visitor. 

DOC I’m not a visitor – I’m going to put on Santa’s cast. Just ignore me – go ahead and talk to Santa. I’ll do what I have to. (He pulls out a cast and slowly wraps it around Santa’s leg, securing it with Velcro.) 

MARK              Thanks, Doc. Let me know if you need any help. (Turns to Santa.) The call for help just went on the air, and already we’re getting bombarded with calls. We’re doing initial telephone screening and have already ruled out many callers – some were kids who just wanted to be with Santa and ride in his sleigh, others were from senior citizens who thought it would be fun to chat with Santa about the past, and there were some who said their parents or spouses wouldn’t let them go on such a long trip.

SANTA Thanks, Mark. I didn’t expect this kind of response so quickly. Did you talk to any possible helpers?

MARK              We’ve made arrangements to fly three likely candidates out on the super jet. At least that’s a start, and I thought that instead of interviewing one at a time, we could do it in small groups.

SANTA Good thinking, Mark. 

DOC I couldn’t help but eavesdrop, Santa. Sounds like things are moving along well for you. I’m glad you’ll be talking to several people who might be able to help you. And sooner is better, right?

SANTA Right! Knowing Mark, he’ll have me busy for at least a day or so. Meanwhile, Doc, how’s the cast coming along?

DOC (Standing up.) It’s done. It shouldn’t be any problem to you – It has a soft lining so your skin will be protected, although it might itch a little. But you’ll get used to it. Just go easy – don’t try to remove it. You’ll have to wear it all the time for a few days. 

SANTA A few days? Can I walk while wearing it?

DOC You can, as long as you use these crutches. Let’s try them out. Stand up. (Santa does, and Doc gives him the crutches, which Santa places under his arms. Doc proceeds to give directions on how to use the crutches – this can be ad libbed, with Santa responding with such things as “Is this right?” “Now I get it,” etc.)

DOC Good job, Santa! The more you use the crutches, the easier it will become. I’ll stop by every day to see how you’re doing. Meanwhile, if you have any problems or questions, feel free to call me. (Doc packs his bag and heads for the door, exiting Stage R.)

MRS. C I’ll walk you to the door, Doc. Any last minute instructions for me?

DOC Just be sure he behaves himself and uses the crutches. Don’t let him try to walk around without them – even for a minute.

MRS. C I’ll be sure to keep an eye on him. (They both exit Stage R just as Mark enters, with Mrs. C following him. She stands off to one side to witness the following scene.)

 MARK The first candidates just arrived, Santa. Do you want to see them one at a time, or as a group?

SANTA For starters, bring all of them in. If I want to talk to each one alone, I’ll let you know.

MARK               (Calling to Stage R.) OK, folks, Santa is ready to see you now. Come on in.

(One male and two females walk excitedly into the room, looking around, Ooohing and Ahhing at everything they see. Then they spot Santa, and all begin to chatter at once.)

#1 I can’t believe I’m really here.

#2

The Christmas Santa Almost Missed

Author: David Reiser
DAVID REISER (composer/lyricist) has written 50 musicals, 30 of which have been published and are in continuous production throughout the U.S., Canada and — occasionally — abroad. Some of Mr. Reiser’s more significant productions include MOLINEAUX, at Theatre Row Theatre in New York City; BALLET RUSSES at Rosemary Branch Theatre, London; BEN at the National Theatre (Helen Hayes stage) in Washington, DC.; and MRS. SCROOGE at the Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago. Author: Judy Wolfman

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