The most wonderful time of the year 

Two holiday classics return to the stage

click to enlarge A Christmas Carol - PHOTO COURTESY OF LYRIC THEATRE
  • Photo courtesy of Lyric Theatre
  • A Christmas Carol

Frank Capra’s Christmas classic returns to the stage with Pollard Theatre’s It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. 

It opens Nov. 26 

“This family-friendly play encourages patrons to participate as the live-studio audience experiencing the intricate and enthralling operations of a radio studio nestled in downtown Manhattan, New York, on a snowy Christmas Eve in 1946. An ensemble cast portrays radio personalities retelling the redemptive story of George Bailey one fateful night,” according to a news release.

The pandemic provided its own challenges, as well as a series of facility issues, but an electrical storm striking the building twice almost canceled this year’s production.

“We cannot thank Cory’s Audio Visual enough for their help; they have been a light in a dark moment, literally. But we still have considerable work to do. We must raise funds to repair and replace our equipment. Christmas at the Pollard is a special tradition for numerous Oklahomans, one that will return thanks to our friends,” Executive Director Kara Luther-Chapman wrote. “George Bailey’s story reminds us that generosity and selflessness are the core values of citizenship, and a community is only as strong as its most
vulnerable members.”

Combining live foley sound effects, virtuosic, high-energy performances, and the occasional prop, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play runs for 15 performances from Nov. 26 through Dec. 23. Tickets start at $35 for adults, $31.50 for seniors, and $25 for children under 12. For the health and safety of audience members, masks are suggested to be worn. Tickets are on sale now at www.thepollard.org.

Over the past decade, Lyric Theatre has raised nearly $200,000 for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma with its annual productions of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and the tradition continues this year.

For the second year, the Nov. 17 through Dec. 23 performances will be held outdoors at the historic Harn Homestead, 1721 N. Lincoln Blvd. The space will be reimagined as a Victorian era setting for the 75-minute performance as audiences will be guided from scene to scene, according to
a news release.

 “Lyric Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol  is one of the best holiday traditions in the metro. … We are so grateful to Lyric Theatre and their patrons, whose generosity has made a real impact in the fight against hunger in Oklahoma,” said Stacy Dykstra, chief executive officer of the Regional
Food Bank. 

Since 2011, Lyric Theatre patrons have donated $194,700 to the Regional Food Bank. The 2020 production of A Christmas Carol at Harn Homestead received praise from both The New York Times and BBC News for being among a select number of theatres in the world staging the holiday favorite.

 The production, limited to 200 tickets each, is staged in the open air to allow social distancing. Each performance is limited to 200 guests.

Tickets for A Christmas Carol are available at LyricTheatreOKC.org or by calling Lyric’s box office
at 405-524-9312.

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