Michael McLean returns for 32nd season of ‘The Forgotten Carols’

Nov 26, 2023, 10:40 PM | Updated: Nov 27, 2023, 10:09 am

SALT LAKE CITY — The beloved Christmas production, “The Forgotten Carols” returns for its 32nd season and back on stage this year is creator, Michael McLean.

McLean missed last year’s production because of a kidney transplant. He shares his story of healing and hope with KSL TV. In his return, McLean is taking center stage in his production of the “The Forgotten Carols.”

However, his return was never a guarantee.

He was asked, “How are you?”

“My mom’s great line was, she’d always say, ‘well, I’m fine if you don’t want details,’ ” McLean said,

But for this story, details are needed, especially 11 months after a kidney transplant.

A need for a kidney

During the pandemic, McLean contracted COVID-19. Afterward, his kidney function went to 10%, stage 5 kidney failure. He was in need of a transplant.

A year after a public plea, a donor came forward and surgery was a success.

“Kidney’s doing good being 70 and trying to recover from the surgery, not so good,” McLean said. “And I remember the biggest fear I had was: I have no idea who I am.”

McLean said he felt like he lost his personality.

“I got really grumpy,” he said. “If you had called me, a friend for decades, I’d have said, ‘What does she want?!’ I mean, I just couldn’t manage.”

His doctor told him it was the medication – 60 pills a day. The side effects would eventually end.

“I feel great today,” McLean said. “I feel hopeful. I feel like enough of a chunk of me is coming back, that I can reflect and find joy in the moment.”

New meaning for Michael McLean

Now, his creation “The Forgotten Carols” that is about finding faith and love and redemption, has new meaning to its creator.

“What if the most important message of this whole show is revealed in the last line Connie Lou says, which is, ‘Don’t be so scared! Don’t be so scare,'” he said.

The bottom line is, McLean said, he can never say thank you enough to the donor and the medical team and for the renewal of life.

“Maybe I can go onstage and tell a story that I’ve wanted to tell and have been telling for 32 years,” he said.  “And project that gratitude and that love in my way.”


And as for faith, he is now not only living for a place in Heaven.

“I’m writing a song right now called, ‘The Kingdom of God is my current address’… I feel it in every breath,” he said. After all that McLean has been through, it seemed appropriate to end this story with his words and music that resonate.

“Maybe someday I’ll see, that the difference I have tried to make has made all of the difference in me,” he sang.

Tickets for “The Forgotten Carols” tour can be found by clicking here.

KSL 5 TV Live


Oprah Winfrey...

Jordan Valinsky, CNN

Oprah is leaving WeightWatchers, sending stock tumbling

Oprah Winfrey is leaving the board of WeightWatchers, ending a nearly decade-long stint as a director of the beleaguered company that has faced sudden competition from Ozempic.

1 day ago

FILE - Comedian Richard Lewis attends an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Dec. 25, 2012. Lewis...

Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press

Comedian Richard Lewis dies after suffering a heart attack

Richard Lewis, an acclaimed comedian known for exploring his neuroses in frantic, stream-of-consciousness diatribes while dressed in all-black, leading to his nickname “The Prince of Pain,” has died. He was 76.

2 days ago

The stage of the Tabernacle Choir as they perform in Manila. (Dan Rascon, KSL News)...

Dan Rascon

Tabernacle Choir performs unforgettable concert in Manila

It was a night not to be forgotten in the Philippines as the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performed  its first major concert before thousands of Filipinos at the Mall of Asia’s 9,000 set arena.

3 days ago

students look at a screen...

Sam Herrera, KSLNewsRadio and Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Weber State offers new elective class all about Taylor Swift

Weber State University is offering a new course all about Taylor Swift, and students wasted no time signing up.

3 days ago

Taylor Swift is pictured at the Chiefs-Dolphins playoff game in Kansas City in January. (Ed Zurga, ...

Alli Rosenbloom, CNN

Taylor Swift baked ‘homemade Pop-Tarts’ for Travis Kelce’s teammates, says coach Andy Reid

Thanks to her well-known love of baking, Taylor Swift won over her boyfriend Travis Kelce’s Kansas City Chiefs teammates the old-fashioned way: by baking them “homemade Pop-Tarts,” according to the team’s coach Andy Reid.

3 days ago

Jam-Master Jay...

Eric Levenson and Jeff Winter, CNN

2 men found guilty of murder in 2002 killing of Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay

Two men were found guilty of murder Tuesday in the 2002 killing of Jam Master Jay, the pioneering DJ of the groundbreaking hip hop trio Run-DMC, in a case that for decades frustrated detectives and music fans alike.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Michael McLean returns for 32nd season of ‘The Forgotten Carols’