Oldcastle's radio variety show, a holiday tradition, returns

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BENNINGTON — The Oldcastle Theatre Company will present its Annual Holiday Radio Variety Show, featuring music of the season, comedy, and classic, old-time radio programs at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7. New this year is a silent auction this year to help raise money for a new roof for the theater.

The festivities begin at 6 p.m. with songs by the Bennington County Choral Society in the lobby, where punch and holiday delicacies will be served.A huge cast has been assembled as Oldcastle again presents what has become a treasured community event. A host of familiar actors and singers of the theater company will join with the Mount Anthony Union High School Chorus and the Bennington County Choral Society to bring songs of the season in the style of a 1940s radio program.

Oldcastle Theatre artistic members scheduled to appear include Christine Decker, Richard Howe, Tim Foley, Willy Jones, Jody June Schade and Gary Allan Poe. Singers will include Lynn Sweet, Matt Edwards, Peter Langstaff, and Cheryl Howard. Sweet, Edwards and drummer Mike Chapman will provide the musical accompaniment.

Orson Welles shocked the country when he presented an adaptation of H.G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds" in the style of a news broadcast. Listeners were convinced a small town in New Jersey had been invaded by Martians on Halloween in 1938. That same year Wells presented an adaptation of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" which is still considered one of the finest radio broadcasts of all time. Oldcastle Theatre is this year presenting the Wells version of the Christmas classic.

Oldcastle's holiday show has become a seasonal event that many in the community look forward to each year. "It's an opportunity to get together to hear traditional holiday songs, have some laughs and get a glimpse into a bygone era of radio variety," according to Oldcastle's producing artistic director, Eric Peterson. "Those not old enough to remember the glory days of radio may remember the television holiday specials by the likes of Andy Williams, Dinah Shore, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Pat Boone and others. Our show is both nostalgic and simply good, informal fun.

"I am particularly happy that so many of the actors who work us with during the theatrical season come back to join us annually. It also gives the audience a chance to hear Cheryl, Peter, Rick and others sing holiday songs folks have loved for decades."

For additional information or to make reservations, call Oldcastle at 802-447-0564 or visit www.oldcastletheatre.org.

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