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Theatre / Yes Virginia: The Musical

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Yes Virginia: The Musical is a 2012 musical designed a released by Macy's. It is an adaptation of their 2009 animated special, and book, *Yes, Virginia*. All three works are dramatizations of the circumstances of the famous 1897 letter by Virginia O'Hanlon, adding in a homeless Santa Claus, a Mean Girl classmate and her cat, a magical librarian, and a Historical Villain Upgrade for Frank Church, the newspaper editor who answered her letter.

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This musical exhibits the following tropes:

  • Alpha Bitch: Charlotte is blond, has the money to buy lots of gifts despite the economic depression, and takes joy in ridiculing Virginia's belief in Santa Claus.
  • Cats Are Mean: Mrs. Whiskers is a borderline case. She hisses at Scraggly Santa every time she sees him, but otherwise merely mirrors Charlotte.
  • Extra! Extra! Read All About It!: The stock phrase shows up multiple times from the newsboys including one near the beginning to explain to the audience that there's a job slump in the city, which means everyone is short on cash for the holidays.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Frank Church is depicted as mocking Virginia's letter and discarding it before a chain of events brings it back into his hands and he's led to decide to answer it positively and sincerely. There is no evidence of the historical character being nearly so mean about the process.
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  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Frank Church is pessimistic, and believes that it's more important that people know of the things going wrong than to publish "puff pieces" about good things. This was actually rather accurate to the historical figure as well, who was a noted cynic, opposed to superstition and religion. Nevertheless, both the fictional and historical character published the famous editorial supporting Virginia's belief (although the historical Church initially refused to have his name associated with the piece).
  • Letters to the Editor: Virginia's letter is addressed to the editor of the The Sun, Frank Church.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The Santas showing up in "Santa by the Book" might just be a child's imagination. And while the Jolly Gentleman might be Santa, he might just be a kindly man who happened to find Virginia's discarded book and sought her out to give it back.
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  • Right-Hand Cat: Mrs. Whiskers is Charlotte's constant companion, mirroring her movements.
  • Santa Claus: Besides Scraggly Santa, who's clearly just playing the part, there are eight Santa Claus variants from around the globe that show up in "Santa by the Book", and the Jolly Gentleman is implied to be the real Santa Claus.
  • Villain Song: Frank Church gets "Cold Hard Facts" where he espouses his viewpoint that newspapers had more of an obligation, both from a business and informational perspective, in reporting the negative aspects of society than the positive ones.
  • Wisdom from the Gutter: Scraggly Santa convinces Virginia to stand up for what she believes in, and manages to cheer up the entire town with an impromptu dance number. He also convinces Frank Church to relent on his "cold hard facts" perspective of bad news being what sells, and that it's important to have people believe in something, even if it may not be strictly true.

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