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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas On The Radio

Amy and I both enjoy the theatre. While neither of us has seen a Broadway show, Amy has seen several shows in London and I have seen fine performances at other cities with a tradition of stage excellence such as Khabarovsk, Russia and Louisville, Kentucky.

We also like to see shows in Elgin, Illinois and it's little sister city, Chicago. Amy will sometimes give her family members the gift of going to a show. Last year, she bought tickets for her Mom and Aunt to see a stage production of the movie "It's a Wonderful Life", performed as a radio play. Say that with a cookie in your mouth!

I mean it! Go get a cookie! I'll wait.

Amy's Mom and Aunt both enjoyed the show and I thought it might be a nice one for Amy and I to attend at some point.

So, this summer, when I saw the 2009 schedule for an Elgin theatre, I was glad to see they were putting on "It's A Wonderful Life" on December 5th, I bought 2 tickets for the 2:00 show and decided to surprise Amy with them as an early Christmas present.

By definition, as a surprise, Amy did not know about it beforehand, In retrospect, I should have done some sort of save the date thing. Amy scheduled Lucy's Chuck-E-Cheese birthday party at the exact same time and I didn't notice the double booking until we had already sent out the invites.

Providentially, there were two shows and I was able to switch our tickets to the late show without giving away the surprise to Amy. On Saturday after Lucy's party, Amy and I went out to a dice dinner and then I took her to the play.

The premise of the show is that it's Christmas time in the 1940's and a radio station is about to do a live performance of "It's A Wonderful Life." A snow storm keeps the majority of the cast from getting to the station. We are told at the onset, that if the show does not go on, the radio station will fail. This forces 2 of the support staff and 2 of the actors to play all the roles and to do the sounds.

What followed was a delight for all in attendance. It's one thing to hear a drama on the radio, but to watch actors literally having a conversation with themselves as they play two roles is astounding. Amy especially liked watching the actors make use of facial expressions and other body language while performing their lines. I liked watching the actors running from one mike to another or to the sound table to make sure the scene got properly executed. It was very interesting to be both behind the scenes and in the audience at the same exact moment.

Next Time: Dude! Where's Your Manners?

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