Noted film and TV dramatist Frank Runyeon performed “The Three-and-a-Half Stories of Christmas” Friday night at St. Patrick Catholic Church, where more than 100 people attended, some of whom were chosen at random to play traditional roles in the Christmas story, such as Mary, Joseph, the three Magi, King Herod and others.
More than a dozen children were also chosen to play the roles of shepherds and angels.
Runyeon himself played an “angel-in-training,” dispatched by “the boss” to share the secret of the Christmas story with us humans and help prepare us for the seasons of Advent and Christmas.
The program raged from the amusing to the sublime, with a generous portion of audience participation and a spotlight, fog machine and pianist combining to create a striking effect.
The three Christmas stories are well known. It is the Christmas half-story that is not over yet and is still being told and retold every year by all who embody the spirit of Christ, such as St. Nicholas.
Runyeon is a seasoned actor with more than 1,000 TV and movie credits. He is best known for his work alongside Meg Ryan on CBS’ “As the World Turns.” A graduate of Princeton, Runyeon left Hollywood in the 1990s and attended Fuller Seminary and Yale Divinity School.
After the performance, Runyeon signed autographs for fans and chatted casually with audience members.