A live radio show is returning to the airwaves for a special holiday broadcast this weekend.
“A Christmas Sampler: An Iowa Christmas Remembered,” which was staged and recorded at the Lake Theatre in 1988, will air at 2 p.m. Saturday on KCMR Radio 97.9 FM.
This original production, written and directed by North Iowan Gregory Schmidt, showcased re-enacted pieces of holiday literature, humor, traditional songs and live radio sound effects. It featured a veteran cast of North Iowans and Minnesotans and spotlighted retiring Mason City music director Cal Folkerts.
The live production was hosted by Schmidt playing the master of ceremonies for the fictional “Chautauqua Theater On-The-Air,” and the cast included veteran radio actress Martha Barclay, stage actors Ed Raleigh, John Ayers, Elise DenHartog and Laurie Etchen as well as professional singer Trish Fevold.
The spoken word portion of the recording brings to life the moving works of 19th century Iowa writers Hamlin Garland and Elizabeth Koren. It also dramatizes short segments of “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” by Dylan Thomas, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens and “Santa Go Home” by Ogden Nash.
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The presentation of “A Christmas Sampler” wove holiday songs between the theatrical portions. All the cast members and even the theater audience joined in some of the musical production numbers.
The following year in 1989 the spoken word portions of the show aired on Iowa Public Radio’s KUNI.
The sound engineer for this nostalgic recording was Dennis Higgins with radio audio effects created by Elizabeth Stattelman.
Christmas photos, ads and stories from the Globe's archives
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Reach Reporter Ashley Stewart at 641-421-0533. Follow her on Twitter at GGastewart.