Very few seats were empty in Dart Auditorium as crowds retired from Silver Bells in the City to enjoy WLNZ 89.7 radio play Scrooge: A Christmas Carol, Nov. 16.
Directed by LCC Radio Station Manager Daedalian Lowry, the Charles Dickens classic was reborn in an unusual format where the actors relied heavily on their voices instead of acting out on stage.
“As far as the radio play goes, this is a throwback to the golden days of radio,” Lowry said. “Lone Ranger, The War of the Worlds, these were theater programs and they were big on the radio.”
The live radio show was free to attend although donations were welcomed. Scrooge: A Christmas Carol featured an eclectic cast of radio staff, along with music by the LCC concert choir under the direction of Michael Bierbaum.
WLNS TV-6 Anchor Evan Pinsonnault filled the infamous shoes of Ebenezer Scrooge. Other distinguished roles included radio personalities Tess King, Mark Stiles, Chris Tyler, Kristi Love and Jack Robbins.
The radio play also featured an appearance from The Lookout’s A & E Editor Joe Israel as Mr. Lamb. Even the audience was given a surprise role in the play, whispering in chilling tones as tormented spirits and the Ghost of Christmas Future.
“Creepy!” Lowry said after the audience practiced its lines. “And nicely done!”
The sound effects team worked adeptly together to provide sound effects of Scrooge miserly counting coins, horse shoes striking the cobbled streets, and ghostly chains dragging across the floor.
Pinsonnault has been active in theater all his life, acting in musicals, plays, comedies and now radio shows. At age 5, he was involved in his first show, which fittingly happened to be about Christmas.
“I have always loved Dickens’ story first and foremost,” Pinsonnault said. “I remember growing up watching all the different versions of Scrooge. I’ve always pretended to do a funny, old guy with a London accent … I know I’m much too young for the role but that’s the beauty of radio.”
According to Pinsonnault, Love originally approached him, asking if he would like to feature a story about Scrooge: A Christmas Carol. He ended up becoming a part of the show himself.
“It was a real treat,” Pinsonnault grinned.