There’s only one thing wrong with the Fred Crafts’ Radio Redux Christmas Special. And that is, it’s too late to see it. The Radio Redux programs at the Soreng Theatre run just one weekend, Friday through Sunday.
Those of you who were lucky enough to catch a performance were treated to a variety of favorite holiday gems presented like an old-time radio show. The talented acting ensemble was in fine form, and enjoyed the addition of two outstanding high school students, Adriana Ripley and Oshen Parris-Austin.
The Rhythmaires jazz band, consisting of Michael Anderson, Dean Livelybrooks, Rob Neidig and Matt Treder, offered lively versions of seasonal songs with singers Kirstin Parmeter-Nusser and Al Villanueva.
Thanks to director-producer-announcer and writer Fred Crafts, the show was packed with surprises, laughter and tender moments.
Bill Barrett and Achilles Massahos performed a wacky Abbott and Costello skit about a stolen Christmas turkey. A compelling pared-down version of A Christmas Carol featured Peter van de Graaff as Scrooge. Later van de Graaff channeled Bing Crosby to sing “White Christmas,” including an audience sing-along.
And he acted with Barrett and Dan Pegoda in a hilarious Christmas spoof of Dragnet. Judi Weinkauf, Ripley and Parris-Austin performed a heart-rending version of O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi. The highlight of the evening was the finale. Ripley’s astonishing rendition of “Oh Holy Night” earned a standing ovation.
I’m sorry if you missed it, but it’s not too late to plan ahead for future Radio Redux shows. The Hollywood classic, Sunset Boulevard, will be ready for its closeup in February. And Stagecoach, the iconic Western that set the standard for all others, rolls into town in April.
This is Dorothy Velasco with KLCC’s Theater Review.