What do you do with an old chestnut?
An old chestnut is one of those wonderful things, usually decades old, that is a national or international favorite.
The fantastic Christmas story "It's A Wonderful Life" qualifies as an old chestnut. And while the temptation for a theater company is to perform the old chestnut, Next Act Theatre is taking it and turning it into a funny, engaging bowl of top-flight mixed nuts.
Mary MacDonald Kerr has moved the story from Bedford Hills to an old-time radio station. In the days she honors, radio was the place for stories, told by actors with sound effects and music. Families gathered around the radio to hear the stories and to share the time together.
She has adapted the story into a radio show, complete with some great Milwaukee actors like Kerr herself, David Cecsarini, Norman Moses and Bo Johnson, Jack Forbes Wilson and Debra Babich.
George Bailey searched for the things in life that are important, and this show promises to be one of those things this holiday season.
"It's A Wonderful Life: the Radio Show" opens at Next Act Nov. 15 and runs through Dec. 9. Tickets and information are available at the website.
I found Its a Wonderful Life to be a breath of fresh air from the annual self-important holiday productions yet to occur.
Sure live radio shows are dead, and giving those too young an opportunity to understand and appreciate this genre, or those old enough to remember a brief opportunity to step back to a time before the IPhone and Kindle is pure folly, just ask the audiences of A Prairie Home Companion! My only problem was the knucklehead whose light from said I-Phone was distracting me every three minutes while I was trying to enjoy it, texting his friends or something. Common courtesy that even a neophite like me could understand! Happy Holidays and thank you Next Act!
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