A radio adaptation of “It’s a Wonderful Life”

 

Eugene group recreates the Christmas classic mainly through words and sounds

 

By Kathleen McCool / The Bulletin

Published Nov 14, 2014 at 12:10AM

 

Experience “It’s a Wonderful Life” in a new way with Fred Crafts’ Radio Redux adaptation of the Christmas classic, showing in early December at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene.

 

Radio Redux is a Eugene theater troupe that recreates radio shows from the Golden Age of radio, the mid-20th century. According to the group’s website, Radio Redux is unlike other theatrical performances because stories are told mainly through words and sounds, leaving the rest up to the audience’s imagination. It’s like listening to a live radio broadcast in a 1940s radio studio; as executive director Fred Crafts likes to say, it’s “radio worth watching.”

 

For those unfamiliar, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a 1946 film based on Philip Van Doren Stern’s short story “The Greatest Gift.” The story follows ruined savings-and-loan manager George Bailey and a guardian angel who struggles to teach George that, in the midst of his many hardships, life truly is wonderful.

 

Radio Redux’s re-enactment of a live 1940s performance of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Crafts said, “includes live sound effects, period commercials and a stellar cast that brings the town of Bedford Falls to life.”

 

Radio Redux’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” shows at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5-6 and 2 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $21 with discounts for seniors, students and groups of eight or more.

 

To purchase tickets and for more information, go to www.radioreduxusa.com, www.hultcenter.org or call the Hult Center box office at 541-682-5000.

 

— Reporter: 541-383-0350, kmccool@bendbulletin.com