Watch one of the musical numbers:
A vocal trio, The Extraordinaires, is nearing the end of a Christmas Eve
performance at the Starlite Lounge. (THERE'S NOTHING LIKE A CHRISTMAS SONG).
Lead singer, Carmel Stewart, wishes the audience a Merry Christmas and
concludes their set with a poignant holiday sentiment (WISHES CAN COME TRUE
ON CHRISTMAS EVE).
In her dressing room following the concert, Carmel is on her cell phone
confirming an early morning flight to Bermuda when Todd Somerville invites
her to join he and his family for Christmas. She declines, reminding him
that she always needs plenty of distraction during the holidays to help her
deal with the memory of the death of her husband and daughter in an
automobile accident 5 years ago on Christmas Eve. Todd leaves Carmel to
wonder if there could ever be any truth to the song she sang during the
concert (WISHES CAN COME TRUE ON CHRISTMAS EVE Reprise).
Scene shifts to Leon's Diner where owner, Betty, informs her last
customer, a down-on-his-luck George, that she'll be closing soon. Hank, a
local policeman, stops in to make sure that Betty had heard the winter storm
warnings. When he suggests that the two of them get together later that
evening, she tells him that, although she's a divorced mother whose daughter
spends every Christmas with her dad, it would take a miracle before that
would ever happen (WAITING FOR MIRACLES). Before they leave, Betty and Hank
invite the always-silent George to join them for a holiday toast (TO US!).
Carmel Stewart enters looking for a phone. It seems that on her way to
the airport her car slid off the road and got stuck in a snow bank. Unfortunately, the phone lines
are all down due to the storm. Since she is desperate to get the airport to
catch her flight, Hank offers to drive her to the police station to see if
the sheriff can be of any help. While Hank goes out to warm up Betty's car,
Betty and Carmel comiserate over the fact that they're both alone on
Christmas (THE LONELIEST GAME). Hank re-enters and informs them that the
airport has shut down and only emergency vehicles are allowed on the roads.
Realizing that they are all stuck at the diner for the night, Betty tries to
find something positive about the predicament (IT'S GONNA BE A LONG NIGHT).
Suddenly they hear a big thud outside. Hank and George return with a
somewhat disoriented, Sebastian, who informs them that he is with "The UPS"
and that he was trying to make an important delivery when he slammed into a
fir tree. He insists that he must get his package delivered before midnight
if he wants to make it out of "BOOT Camp." The others insist that he stay
long enough to warm up. He eventually accepts their hospitality and follows
Betty, Hank & Carmel into the back room when Betty suggests that they need
to make the diner a bit more festive. Left alone onstage, we hear George
speak for the first time, imploring God to bring peace to his life after
years of atoning for a terrible sorrow he caused 5 years ago (GEORGE'S
PRAYER). During the song, Betty comes in, hears George's voice and reminds
him that he's among friends.
As the five snowbound diners sing DECK THE HALLS, they manage to decorate
the place using various and sundry kitchen items. Betty suggests they put on
a Christmas pageant, and take turns at relating a meaningful Christmas story
or singing a holiday song. First up is Betty who, with the help of the
others, sings RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER. Hank then tells of his
experience with an older gentleman who always visited his wife’s grave on
Christmas Eve. Carmel entertains the group with SANTA BABY, while the others
supply percussion with sugar shakers, empty pop bottles, etc. Sebastian is
coaxed into singing SILENT NIGHT.
Following his song, Sebastian insists he’s got to make his delivery
before midnight. When Hank reminds him that no vehicles are allowed on the
roads, much to everyone’s confusion Sebastian tells him that he didn’t
drive. As he leaves, he reminds everyone that wishes can come true on
Christmas eve, “but first you’ve got to believe.” Carmel is taken aback at
hearing this all-too-familiar phrase.
Once Sebastian is gone, George is coaxed into relating his own Christmas
memory, a somber tale of a hit-and-run accident he caused five years ago
while driving under the influence. As his story unfolds, Carmel realizes
that the accident he is describing is the very same accident which took the
life of her husband and little girl. She lashes out at George and wonders
what cruel twist of fate could have brought her face to face with the man
who ruined her life. Based on the facts that George relates during his
story, Betty and Hank suddenly realize they were unknowingly connected to
the same accident as well. Betty was the bartender on duty that night
serving more drinks than she should have to George who was celebrating
having received a promotion at work. Hank remembers stopping a car which was
weaving back and forth but then letting the driver off even though
Suddenly they hear another loud thud outside only to discover that
Sebastian has once again landed in the snowbank outside the door. Hank and
George rescue him once more. Upset at the fact that he was not able to make
his delivery, Sebastian comiserates about the fact the he’ll never make it
out of “BOOT Camp” with “The UPS.” When Hank questions what he means, he is
stunned when Sebastian tells him that he’s an angel, that The UPS stands for
“The Union of Primary Seraphim” and BOOT Camp refers to the “Basic Order of
Taskers,” angels who need to prove their worthiness before they can take
their place in “the big house.” Sebastian hopes that whatever is inside the
package addressed to Stewart Carmel isn’t perishable. Upon hearing the name,
Carmel asks if the package could be for Carmel Stewart. Closer examination
of the address label makes Sebastian realize that the name was printed with
the last name first and that the package is really for Carmel.
She opens the package and discovers two envelopes, the first containing a
letter from her husband telling her not to worry and that he and daughter,
Jessie, are fine and that Heaven is as beautiful as anyone ever imagined . Inside the envelope he has placed his wedding ring for her
to have. The second envelope is from Jessie who tells Carmel how much she
misses her. Inside her envelope she has put two silver stars which she made
herself. A tearfully happy Carmel, suddenly realizes that there are such
things as miracles in the world and that wishes do actually come true on
Christmas eve. In an act of forgiveness, she places one of the silver stars
in George’s hand.
With this miracle firmly in place, Hank reminds Betty of her statement
that it would take a miracle before she would ever agree to get together
with him. Betty can offer no further argument and agrees to take Hank up on
Sebastian tells everyone they should never forget that, whether they
realize it or not, everything they do has profound effect on others. (WE ARE