Airwave adventures come alive on stage this holiday season

Langley Playhouse hosts back-to-back radio plays, A Christmas Carol and The Adventures of Sam Spade

The spirit of classic golden age episodic radio adventures is alive and well in Langley; two back-to-back readings filled with costumes and sound effects will be brought to the Langley Playhouse stage for audiences, Dec. 5 to 8.

The plays, directed by June Ainsworth and produced by Diane Gendron, will take audiences back in time to the days when the radio was the primary home entertainment system.

“The two plays will take the audience back to an era when families sat in their living rooms, gathered around their radios, listening to tales being masterfully and magically sent to them over the air waves,” Gendron explained.

“Shawn McGrory and I listen to the 1940s radio plays, which are readily available online, to find the ones we think will provide the most entertainment performed live on-stage,” she continued.

The nostalgic evening will open with a 1940s episode of The Adventures of Sam Spade – Ace Detective, written by Dashiell Hammett, author of The Maltese Falcon.

The tongue-in-cheek detective, who was a popular character in that decade, will tackle The Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail Caper.

After an intermission filled with Christmas goodies served by the cast, the second play of the evening will be Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, adapted for radio by Anthony E. Palermo.

This classic tale, faithful to Dickens’ text and themes, will feature eight actors voicing 29 different characters.

“One of the exciting and fun things about our productions is that the sound effects are created live onstage,” Gendron noted. “Audiences get to watch as the Foley Artists create wind, thunder, the clip clop of horses passing by, and doors opening and closing, right there on the stage.”

Read More: Outrageous farce, Drop Dead, opens Langley Players Drama Club’s new season

Show times are Thursday, Dec. 5, Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m.

“Family friendly entertainment with family friendly ticket prices too at $15 for adults and $10 for children,” Gendron said.

The Langley Playhouse is located at 4307 200 St in Brookswood.

To buy tickets and reserve seats, people can visit www.langleyplayers.com and follow the link to Brown Paper Tickets.

“The feedback from the audience members who listened to those radio plays back in the 40s and early 50s before we had televisions is always wonderfully positive as it reflects their own experiences growing up,” Gendron added.

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