SACRED FOOLS | DARK NIGHT 2007 - Retro Radio

"...executed with dash, humor and a refreshing lack of
pretension." - L.A. Times (RECOMMENDED and BEST BET!)

"Very witty and very funny!" - Accessibly Live Off-Line



All-New Old-Time Radio... Live on Stage!

written & produced by Paul Byrne & Lisa Anne Nicolai
directed by Paul Byrne

Christmas Eve, 1944.  Biz Billingham's Radio Revue tours with the troops through the recently recovered regions of France.  Perhaps a little too close to enemy lines.

DECEMBER 4-19, 2007
Tues/Weds @ 8pm / Sun @ 2pm

Tickets: $10 (pay-what-you-can for VFW and WGA)
Reservations: (310) 281-8337
or Buy Tickets Online!

~ Directions to the Theater ~

Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Writer's Guild of America can show their
membership card or DD214 Form (VFW) at the box office for Pay-What-You-Can admission.

Jokes ~ Christmas Songs ~ and more
including “Buzz Edsel & the Santa Surprise”
“The Oconomowoc Mock Amok”
and “The Halls of Suspense: The Perilous Christmas Journey”

L-R: Michael Holmes, David LM McIntyre,
Richard Levinson & Dan Wingard

Paul Byrne ~ Kathi Copeland ~ Supatra Hanna
Michael Holmes ~ Stacey Jackson ~ Corey Klemow
Richard Levinson ~ David LM McIntyre
Lisa Anne Nicolai ~ Terry Tocantins ~ Dan Wingard

Costumes - Lisa Anne Nicolai
Sound Design - Paul Byrne

Stage Manager - Noel Balacuit
Photography - Haven Hartman

Featuring original songs with lyrics by Lisa Anne Nicolai
Music composed by Richard Levinson

RETRO RADIO returns after a five-year absence!
Read up on older versions of the show!

L-R: Lisa Anne Nicolai, Terry Tocantins,
David LM McIntyre & Corey Klemow
as the regular Radio Revue Players!

L-R: Stacey Jackson, Kathi Copeland
& Supatra Hanna as musical guests,
 the famous Ringer Sisters!

Hear the Ringer Sisters sing "A Hula Hula Hi"!


L.A. TIMES (Recommended and Best Bet!)

Sacred Fools Theater Company's amiable time capsule presents a nostalgic holiday show featuring an intrepid band of radio players traveling with Allied troops in 1944 France. Nothing you haven't heard on "Lake Wobegone," but executed with dash, humor and a refreshing lack of pretension.

In Sacred Fools Theater Company's amiable holiday time capsule, "Retro Radio Christmas Cavalcade," it's Dec. 24, 1944, somewhere in war-torn France. As bombs fall nearby, Biz Billingham (smoothie David LM McIntyre) and his intrepid band of radio players put on a Christmas show for local troops and those listening overseas.

The fetching Ringer Sisters (Supatra Hanna, Stacey Jackson and Kathi Copeland) sing a carol or two, and the gang nimbly performs a few old-time radio tales. Mentally challenged bandits hijack a sleigh of holiday gifts in "The Perilous Christmas Journey," and Midwestern vowels are lampooned in "The Oconomowoc Mock Amok."

Nothing you haven't heard on "Lake Wobegon," but it's fun to see the stories presented live on stage with unpretentious pleasure. Writer-producers Lisa Anne Nicolai and Paul Byrne (who directs) keep the pace up and shift moods with ease, aided by a charming cast that doesn't take it personally when pianist Richard Levinson slyly steals the show.

There's a faint political critique here: A bad guy is named Hal E. Burton, and one character exclaims, "I'd have to be a fool or a criminal to ignore military intelligence." It's clear the Sacred Fools long not so much for the relative innocence of those bygone radio days, but for a war that unified the country. These days, that seems about as likely as a white Christmas in L.A.

-- Charlotte Stoudt
©2007 L.A. Times
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The Sacred Fools Theater in Hollywood proudly presents the return of Retro Radio, a stage play series of radio shows from those thrilling days of yesteryear that were almost forgotten (because they really didn't exist), this time coming back for the holiday season with the appropriate titled THE RETRO RADIO CHRISTMAS CAVALCADE.

France-Christmas Eve, 1944, and the Biz Billingham's Radio Review is broadcasting to our boys fighting in the war. His band of radio performers are in a secret location in this war-torn nation currently occupied by the Nazi forces. They make an attempt through the modern technique of a transatlantic broadcast to offer this program to the men fighting abroad as well as the regular folks on the home front, bringing this show in full force. But it's Christmas time, and a little ol' war in an area taken over by the "enemy" won't stop these players of the radio to do their show, complete with songs, and drama--plenty of drama! In fact, there are three installments of radio drama performed. There's The Halls of Suspense: The Perilous Christmas Journey, a tale well calculated to keep one in suspense--sort of! Next, there's The Oconomowoc Mock Amok, a story of an enemy spy lurking within a humble Midwestern town, and Buzz Edsel & The Santa Surprise, another adventure featuring eight year old Buzz who does find a surprise going on in a neighbor's garage! It's just another way to bring some patriotic holiday cheer that's going on "over there" and will continue to be until it's over--over there!

This is--really--another long awaited episode of the Retro Radio series presented by this theater company, first presented in the summer of 2001 by Paul Byrne and Lisa Anne Nicolai, who return as the writers as well as cast members in this production, with Byrne serving as director. It features a great performing crew, many are regular players of previous Sacred Fools shows, starring David LM McIntyre as Biz Billingham, with Terry Tocantins as Drake Coleman, Lisa Anne Nicolai as Anne Ballard, Paul Byrne as Buddy Kelly, Corey Klemow as Chet Healy, Richard Levinson as pianist Eddie Patosi, Supatra Hanna, Stacey Jackson, and Kathi Copeland as the singing Ringer Sisters who perform two original numbers ("A Hula Hula Hi" and "Buy Bonds"), Dan Wingard as Staff Sgt. Harry Bailey, and Michael Holmes playing two separate roles! Even though this is a "radio drama", there is plenty of action seen on stage, with Biz and company standing behind mics with scripts in hand, go through the motions while keeping awatch for a surprise attack that the Nazis may attempt!

THE RETRO RADIO CHRISTMAS CAVALCADE is a tight little show that is very witty and very funny. Leave it to the Sacred Fools to bring a show as this one for one's holiday cheer! This may not be a heartwarming piece for the merry season, but that's OK! It's not trying to become one anyway! Just watch, listen and enjoy the holiday merriment!

-- Rich Borowy
©2007 Accessibly Live Off-Line
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Old-time radio from the 1930s and '40s has a timeless appeal that verges on campy. With the corny, pun-laden skits, the breathless voice of the announcer, and the snappy tunes and clever lyrics, the heyday of radio is rightfully celebrated on the American stage.

This show, written by Paul Byrne (who also directs) and Lisa Anne Nicolai, sets a high bar for its Christmas radio celebration. The show features a traveling company of performers stuck near the enemy lines in France on Christmas Eve 1944, broadcasting live via transatlantic cable to the folks back home. As enemy fire rains down on them, this hardy bunch of thespians does its darnedest to put on a bang-up show.

...A couple of the skits are entertaining, notably one about the escapades of a one-armed veteran in rural Wisconsin and another about a couple of suburban kids who happen upon a German spy who is collaborating with aliens. And the music is nice: Old standards such as "Silent Night" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" are paired with a couple of bouncy originals, "Buy Bonds" and "A Hula Hula Hi."

The performances are, for the most part, terrific. Terry Tocantins, Corey Klemow, and Levinson are standouts in several sketches. Nicolai, David LM McIntyre, Dan Wingard, and Michael Holmes, along with vocalists Supatra Hanna, Stacey Jackson, and Kathi Copeland are also solid in multiple roles...

-- Hoyt Hilsman
©2007 BackStage West
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