Can this be true? Gian Carlo Menotti’s miracle opera Amahl and the Night Visitors, ordinarily as ubiquitous a holiday entertainment as A Charlie Brown Christmas, is seeing just one revival this year? Just one revival anywhere on the planet? Yes, so our research informs us, and no one needs to explain. The lone production takes place in Kansas City, where it premiered in virtual form last year and has now been cleared for audiences in the flesh. In an unusual arrangement, the show combines live music with action by puppets. These last are the creation of Paul Mesner, whose Mesner Puppet Theatre has been a Kansas City fixture for decades. The master-founder is retired now, but his company soldiers on into an uncertain future. Sadly, many beloved “actors” went on the auction block last year to raise needed funds. Remember differently abled little Amahl in the opera, who proffers the Three Kings his crutch as a gift to the newborn Jesus? “Who knows, he may need one,” he insists, “and this I made myself.” If you don’t already know, you probably can guess what happens next. Which of us couldn’t use a miracle or two right now? —M.G.
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