DECATUR — Local troupe The Kablooey Group revisiting its Christmas musical “Merry Ol’ Radio Holiday Show.”
The original musical will be on stage for three shows, Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 14 to 16, at Richland Community College’s Shilling Auditorium.
The story is about a group of radio performers traveling the country that makes a stop in Decatur to perform a Christmas program. The show will also be the last performance for one of the veterans of their group.
“That character’s retirement puts into motion all sorts of little stories with these characters,” said Kablooey Group actor Jayson Albright.
In the first act, the cast prepares for the production while reminiscing and singing songs from their past. They perform the musical numbers as part of a radio show in act two. Thursday’s Christmas radio show will be broadcast live on WSOY-1340 AM. The stage show begins at 7 p.m., with Thursday’s live broadcast airing at 8 p.m.
Kablooey actor Jerry Johnson said the musical is based on classic Hollywood movies like "White Christmas,” in which characters break into song, depending on the situation.
“They are supposed to sound like standards you’ve heard somewhere,” Johnson said. “But they’re not really.”
“We take on characters in the broadcast show,” Kablooey actor Rachel Roettger said. “We are a performer within a performer, or a show within a show.”
Along with Albright, Johnson and Roettger, the cast includes Sue Powell, Sally Schepper, Steve Schepper and Mitchell VanZant.
The performers will be joined on stage with a band playing original music. Kablooey music director Doug Nicholson incorporated various genres, such as swing, Latin, ragtime, ballads and country. Original songs include “I Know, You Know,” “Tangled Christmas Lights” and “Christmastime in the Soy City.”
“That is our shameless plug for name-dropping in Decatur,” Johnson said.
“The song is only about Decatur,” Roettger said. “The whole show is a celebration of Decatur.”
The cast may invite members of the audience onstage to provide sound effects for the family friendly show.
“The crowd is in on a lot of the background stuff,” Nicholson said.
The cast will interact with the audience, encouraging them to applaud or add elements to situations.
“The studio audience will enhance the show,” Johnson said.