‘It Happened on Fifth Avenue’ happening on Fourth Avenue | Art & Appetite

By James Spangler | Dec 18, 2016
“It Happened on Fifth Avenue”
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20
Where: Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N, Edmonds
Tickets: $12
Information: www.edmondscenterforthearts.org, 425-275-9595


I noticed that some people like to get ready for Christmas almost as soon as the turkey has been cleared from the Thanksgiving table. There are boxes of lights and ornaments to be brought out of storage, the perfect tree to acquire, all that decorating to be done and lights to set up.

That's all great, and I’m grateful for all the beautiful light shows out there. Really. But I've sort of simplified my Christmas celebration – I don't really knock myself out anymore.

The rituals I have held onto involve reading aloud “The Polar Express,” “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” and “A Visit From Saint Nick.”

I like to drag the kids to at least one Christmas pageant or play, and I've also been known to be coerced into a little caroling. Last, but certainly not least, I do like to make it to church on Christmas Eve, preferably around midnight with one involving candles and great music.

Unfortunately, tickets to some of these events can be a little pricey. In the past, I've been known to deplete my entertainment budget and my Christmas spirit all in one fell swoop by taking the family to expensive Christmas shows.

If you’re interested in a show that won't break the bank, consider visiting the Edmonds Center for the Arts Dec. 20 as Seattle Radio Theatre returns for its third visit with “Fa-La-La-Ha-Ha! ‘Tis the Season to Be Jolly.”

Once again, it's a veritable who’s-who of local comic talent, including Jim Dever, Tracey Conway, Pat Cashman and Steve Wilson.

It’s radio theater the way it was intended to be performed – by the seats of their pants, and before a live audience. Local radio station KSER 90.7-FM will rebroadcast the performance.

This year, SRT’s main selection reaches way back with a radio play adapted from the classic movie “It Happened on Fifth Avenue.” (Not to be confused with the Capra/Gable/Colbert classic “It Happened One Night”). It’s the story of a charming metropolitan hobo who takes up residence in an absentee robber baron’s mansion.

“There are some mistaken identity issues – it's a bit like Mark Twain’s ‘The Prince and the Pauper’ in that respect,” Conway said.

“But I think what's important about this play is its message that we should all open our hearts to each other. It's especially important given recent events. We hope to communicate that message and do it in a funny way.”

If you've never watched radio theater, make sure you choose a seat that will allow you a good vantage point of the Foley artist. Radio theater would be pretty dry without the sound effects guy, and Curtis Takahashi is a master of the craft.

As if that isn't enough, gifted local instrumentalist and singer Tomo Nakayama will also perform. Also, fans of Ciscoe Morris will be happy to hear that he’ll be returning this year, as well.

This show promises reasonably priced entertainment for the whole family performed by local comic icons and designed to get you in the holiday spirit. Should be lots of fun.

#James Spangler is the owner of Spangler Book Exchange in Edmonds and an aficionado of all things art and appetite. Do you know of a Snohomish County restaurant, art gallery or theatrical show worthy of a review? Call him at 206-795-0128 or email him at jamessspangler@gmail.com.#



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