Drive into the dirt parking lot of the Old Settlers Association in Round Rock and your vehicle will immediately seem anachronistic.
After noticing and appreciating a collection of authentic log cabins and historical buildings, your eyes will eventually alight on your destination: Rice’s Crossing Store.
The one-room store is rimmed by canned goods and other general store items from times long past. Beyond rows of folding chairs that seat an audience of 93, a simple stage fills the back of the room. When the five-person cast from Penfold Theatre Company comes out from behind the curtain, you’re in for a real holiday delight.
If you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate the weekend before Christmas with friends and family, this is it. In It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, five cast members divide a plethora of characters amongst themselves, with humorous and heart-warming accents and facial expressions to differentiate each personality. The lines are well-rehearsed and delivered effortlessly, and the “take home” message will give you courage to face the hectic pace of this season. Namely, that in the face of life’s disappointments, hope and joy is found in caring for others and cherishing the friends in our lives.
Live foley effects set this performance apart from other local theatre shows. Beside the stage, all sorts of items are arranged to add sound effects to the storyline and dialogue. A brush is swished over metal to create the sound of a locomotive, or skates on ice. Horns and chimes add humor and whimsy. Most impressively, the five cast members are the ones creating the sound effects – in between their lines!
This play will appeal to all ages. If you take younger children, arrive early to get seats up front. They’ll love being able to see the foley table and sound effects being made!
Be prepared for a two-act show. The first act lasts approximately an hour, with a 35-minute second act. Before the show or during intermission, stop by the food and drink bar for hot chocolate, delicious cider, wine, and various snack items. Cash and cards are accepted.
It’s a Wonderful Life is entering its final weekend, with performances Thursday-Sunday. Tickets are already being sold, so I encourage you to purchase soon before the shows sell out. Buy tickets online via this web page.
I recommend Penfold Theatre Company’s rendition of It’s a Wonderful Life without reservation. The script and acting are first-rate and the general store setting transports you to a simpler time. This is by far one of my favorite things I’ve done this holiday season, and I hope you get a chance to enjoy the show too!
Have you been to any local theatre performances this Christmas season?
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