Believe in 'Miracle'

<b>Michael Phillips, film critic</b><br>
<br>
Along with the screen debut of the great Thelma Ritter, "Miracle on 34th Street" offered 1947 audiences the adorability duel fought, in the nicest way, by <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PECLB002145" title="Edmund Gwenn" href="/topic/entertainment/edmund-gwenn-PECLB002145.topic">Edmund Gwenn</a> as the midtown <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PLGEO100100804010000" title="Manhattan (New York City)" href="/topic/us/new-york/new-york-city/manhattan-%28new-york-city%29-PLGEO100100804010000.topic">Manhattan</a> Macy¹s employee who claims to be the real Santa, and <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PECLB004007" title="Natalie Wood" href="/topic/entertainment/natalie-wood-PECLB004007.topic">Natalie Wood</a> as the disbelieving tot. Every year, the fine old Portage Theater in Chicago's <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PLGEO100100501257100" title="Portage Park" href="/topic/us/illinois/cook-county/chicago/portage-park-PLGEO100100501257100.topic">Portage Park</a> neighborhood puts on a holiday bash built around a seasonal picture. This year¹s is "Miracle." There'll be carolers in the lobby, Jay Warren at the organ leading a singalong, the DeMaira Dancers and a visit from Mr. Claus himself. Last year, says Portage managing director Dennis Wolkowicz, the show went on without Santa. "Shame on us!" he said. "This year he'll be back, by popular demand." 
7:30 p.m. Dec. 19, 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave.; $10 admission; 773-736-4050. portagetheater.org

( Illustration by David Cowles / November 16, 2008 )

Michael Phillips, film critic

Along with the screen debut of the great Thelma Ritter, "Miracle on 34th Street" offered 1947 audiences the adorability duel fought, in the nicest way, by Edmund Gwenn as the midtown Manhattan Macy¹s employee who claims to be the real Santa, and Natalie Wood as the disbelieving tot. Every year, the fine old Portage Theater in Chicago's Portage Park neighborhood puts on a holiday bash built around a seasonal picture. This year¹s is "Miracle." There'll be carolers in the lobby, Jay Warren at the organ leading a singalong, the DeMaira Dancers and a visit from Mr. Claus himself. Last year, says Portage managing director Dennis Wolkowicz, the show went on without Santa. "Shame on us!" he said. "This year he'll be back, by popular demand." 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19, 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave.; $10 admission; 773-736-4050. portagetheater.org

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