Click here to return to the main site.

Music Review

Cover Image

Mrs. Santa Claus (Original Soundtrack)


Music: Jerry Herman
Lyrics: Jerry Herman
Performed by: Angela Lansbury, Charles Durning, Michael Jeter and Terrence Mann
RCA Records
RRP: £13.99
0 902668 66526
Available 15 November 2011

Feeling a little neglected after all the hard work she has given Santa in preparation for Christmas, Mrs. Santa Claus sorts him out a new route, so they can spend time together. When he totally ignores her suggestion she steals the sleigh and heads off on her own. Running into a storm over New York she is forced to make an emergency landing, injuring one of the reindeer. Stuck for a few days she takes a room in Mrs. Lowenstien’s boarding house on Avenue A. Here she encounters Nora Kilkenny working hard to bring the rest of her family over from Ireland, Marcello, the stable boy and Sadie her landlady’s daughter and staunch feminist. Having to work, to pay the rent, Mrs. Claus, now going under the name, Mrs. North, takes a job at the Tavish Toy Company, where is appalled by both the workers conditions and the poor quality of the toys. Meanwhile Santa has belatedly discovered her missing and realises just how much he loves her…

Mrs. Santa Claus (1996) was a Christmas television special, produced as if it were a Broadway show. The show stared Angela Lansbury and was written by Mark Saltzman, directed by Terry Hughes, with music by Jerry Herman (Hello, Dolly! and Mame). The show won an EMMY for best hair styling and was nominated for a further four plus one from the Art Directors Guild.

Although the show is fondly remembered, I’d love to know what the original audience thought of Mrs. Claus leading a feminist-Marxist workers revolution, the two concepts just don’t seem to be natural bedfellows.

A Christmas special which tries to deliver something other than mawkish fare which would make an elf throw up, is to be congratulated, though set in a fantasy version of 1910, its incongruous listening to Mrs. Claus supporting workers’ rights against a stereotyped, Dickensian factory owner.

The songs, throughout are light and fluffy and without knowing the story it would be understandable, from this recording, if you though that this was anything other than a cute Christmas special. The recording is clear and free from any noticeable defects.

Angela Lansbury is... well, herself. She has an instantly recognisable voice and is a long time Broadway player. More surprising is that Charles Durning, plays Santa, I didn’t even know he could sing, let alone appear in such a show.

I still find it difficult to reconcile the intentions of the show with its actual presentation; it’s the equivalent of listening to a re-enactment of the Christians being fed to the lions, whilst all the time being forced to sing up-beat, jaunty songs.


Charles Packer

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

$9.99 (
MP3 album

All prices correct at time of going to press.