Lyric Arts has once again brought a holiday show to the Main Street Stage that should be one of your destinations between now and December 20th.
In their first original production, Lyric Arts has struck new ground and hit pay-dirt. Christmas in the Airwaves takes us back to a simpler time, when radio ruled the entertainment scene. This radio play, set in a fictitious Minnesota town and evokes memories for me of The Firesign Theater and the early renditions of A Prairie Home Companion, before it got big. The script pays homage to several radio dramas of the era.
Interwoven with the sometimes hokey (but pleasantly so) script are 19 songs of the holidays, some of them extremely familiar and some I had not heard before. The one constant in the music is that it is done most excellently, especially by the fictional Welsh Sisters, who do an excellent re-creation of Minnesota’s own Andrews Sisters. The blend of their voices is just lovely.
Michael Conroy, who lays the sound effects guy—Wow! That’s all, wow! I am not going to say anything more about his performance, but he has the best moment on stage and to describe it would take away from your enjoyment of it.
The acting is excellent all around and director Craig Johnson is masterful in providing shifting focus as the characters interact and react to the action. Dann Peterson shines as Philip, the beleaguered radio station manager.
Jane Ryan’s set captures the essence of a small radio station and the 1940’s era beautifully and Stephanie Mueller’s costumes evoke the era. I especially loved the loud suit worn by Anthony R. Johnson, as Skip, the announcer.
Folks, if you’re looking for a holiday show, get your tickets soon, as Lyric Arts is a very popular destination.
My thanks to John Patrick Bray for a fun-filled script and director Craig Johnson and his cast and crew for a wonderful show.
Gary Davis is a local actor/director who is a big fan of theater.