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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


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