In this play-within-a-play set in early 20th-century Russia, a colorful troupe of actors in a small provincial theater is presenting a dramatization of the Russian classic fairy tale about Snegorka, the daughter of St. Nicholas, who braves adversity and saves Christmas by finding the lost reindeer and riding the lead reindeer herself on St. Nicholas' appointed rounds. Sergei, as warmhearted offstage as on, plays St. Nicholas, and Misha plays his sidekick. Irina plays the nervous usher who must ''go on'' as the front half of the reindeer, with the introvert, Igor, playing the rear. Add to the mix Old Popo, the ancient curtain puller who may or may not hear the cues, three little girls from the ''audience'' who appear as dancing snowflakes and a half-starved street urchin with stage fright who fits the rabbit costume perfectly and discovers a home on the stage. Playing Snegorka is the star, Vayla, beautiful, temperamental and perhaps too old for the part. When Vayla, in an offstage fit of pique, trips over a chair and breaks her leg, she is replaced by the reluctant Ludi, the kind, shy, stage-struck dresser, who goes on as Snegorka, but can she save the show?