Louis Fantasia and Families Forward Learning Center Announce OLD TIME HOLIDAY RADIO HOUR

Louis Fantasia and Families Forward Learning Center Announce OLD TIME HOLIDAY RADIO HOURLouis Fantasia and Families Forward Learning Center announced their first ever "OLD TIME HOLIDAY RADIO HOUR" - ONE NIGHT ONLY at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica, California on Thursday, December 14, 2017 at 8:30 PM. featuring two classic NBC Radio episodes; DRAGNET ("The Big Little Jesus," 1953), and THE GREAT GILDERSLEEVE (Christmas Special, 1943) A LOST EPISODE, not heard on radio since it's original air date. Under the direction of Louis Fantasia, the stage readings star Rhea Perlman and Isabella Hofmann.

Featured cast members include: Ashley Bell, Michael Bell, Adan Canto, Merrilyn Crouch, Michele Greene, Don De Forest Paul, Elisa Richardson, Victoria Tilford, and Robert Wisdom.

"Gildy and his family are really very appropriate for Families Forward. The Gildersleeve household was one of the first non-traditional families in broadcast media, with two children being raised by an uncle; and no mother and father. The love and happiness in the Gildersleeve household made Christmas a lot more special for people in the 1940s and 50s - and I think we need to capture that holiday spirit today!" ~ Louis Fantasia

Presented at New Roads School at the Herb Alpert Educational Village, the staged readings capture the magic and imagination of live holiday radio broadcasts of the 1940s and 1950s; Featuring members of the LA Lawyers Philharmonic and Legal Voices choir, led by Gary S. Greene.

The 2017 "Old Time Holiday Radio Hour" will feature:

DRAGNET "The Big Little Jesus"

"It was Wednesday, December 24th. It was cold in Los Angeles..."

Joe Friday and his Partner Frank Smith get a call: a statue of the baby Jesus had been stolen from the Christmas nativity crèche at the downtown Los Angeles Mission church. They go to investigate. Who would steal such a worthless piece of plaster? Their search leads them through the pawnshops and cheap hotels of (then) downtown L.A. The detectives come up empty handed. They return to the church and are about to confess their failure to the parish priest when the "thief" turns himself in. Little Paco Mendoza had taken the baby Jesus for a ride in his new red wagon: the one toy he had prayed for for Christmas!

THE GREAT GILDERSLEEVE (Christmas Special, 1943) LOST EPISODE, not heard on radio since it originally aired. Written By John Whedon & Sam Moore Original airdate: Sunday, December 19, 1943 (Production #105) Directed by Louis Fantasia

"Well, in Summerfield, too, Christmas is almost at hand, but for Gildersleeve and his household there is little cheer in prospect. For Gildersleeve has had a falling out with his niece, the apple of his eye...."

Marj left home 24 hours ago when her Uncle Gildy refused to let her go out with her boyfriend. Now everyone is filled with remorse as worry and concern set in. A posse of local characters is about to be sworn in to look for Marj, when Gildy's neighbor (and sometime fiancée) Leila comes over to announce that Marj has spent the night at her house and wants to come home now. She does - just in time for the extended family and friends to rush off to see Gildy's nephew LeRoy in his school production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL! They return home to open their (wartime) holiday presents: War Stamps and Bonds... and a new puppy!

LOUIS FANTASIA (Director) is well known to Los Angeles audiences as a director, actor, theatre critic and educator. His productions include the U.S. premiere of Robin Soans' Arab-Israeli Cookbook, and the West Coast premiere of Elise Thoron and Gary Fagin's multi-media music-theatre piece, Charlotte: Life or Theatre? (2007), as well as a recent series of staged readings for the Los Angeles Shakespeare Center that include Shakespeare's Macbeth (with Harry Hamlin and Claudia Christian), Brecht's Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (featuring Joe Spano) and Coriolanus in 2018.

In 2014 and 2016 he directed the gala performances of Britweek's 450th Shakespeare Birthday Celebration and the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare's Death, with casts including Michael York, Stacy Keach, Joan van Ark, Jane Seymour, Malcolm MacDowell among other British and American luminaries. His own performances include the English-language premiere of Peter Turrini's monodrama, Enough, and The Double Bass, the award winning one-man play by Patrick Suskind, which Louis has performed in Berlin, London, Tokyo and across the U.S. since 1988. He was heard regularly on NPR's KCRW (89.9 FM) as a theatre critic and arts commentator.

Louis has served as President of Deep Springs College and Dean of the Faculty at the New York Film Academy (Burbank). His book, Instant Shakespeare, was published in the U.S. by Ivan R. Dee and by A & C Black in England. Tragedy in the Age of Oprah, his second book, was published by Scarecrow Press. His new book, Talking Shakespeare: Notes from a Journey, will be published in 2017 by Peter Lang Publishers, where he is the General Editor for a forthcoming series of Shakespeare in Performance volumes.

In 2003, the Council of Europe in Strasbourg named the theatre collection at its library in the European Parliament in honor of Louis Fantasia, who holds both U.S. and European Union passports. In 2016 he was awarded the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his contributions to German culture and theatre.

Proclaimed by the City of Los Angeles as "LA's Only Legal Orchestra," the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic was founded by attorney/conductor Gary S. Greene in 2009 and has performed more than 50 concerts, raising tens of thousands of dollars to benefit those who cannot afford legal services and for other charitable purposes.

Maestro Greene also organized the orchestra's chorus, Legal Voices, in 2011. These musical organizations are where lawyers, judges, law students and legal staff meet in harmony, using their voices that are more commonly heard in the courtroom than on the concert stage. Nevertheless, the music prevails. The orchestra and chorus perform on a professional level for bar associations, civic and charitable events. They are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. For more information, visit www.LALawyersPhil.org.

This evening will benefit the Families Forward Learning Center. Families Forward Learning Center's award-winning Two-Generation Learning Program prepares children for kindergarten while helping parents build the skills they need to help their children succeed in school and in life. Parents and children learn in a safe, nurturing environment, under the guidance of highly skilled professionals. Formerly known as Mothers' Club, Families Forward Learning Center has been providing free, high-quality education and social services to the neediest, most isolated parents and children. We invest in the whole family during the most critical time of life, creating hope for a better future for all children. http://www.familiesforwardlc.org

AN OLD TIME HOLIDAY RADIO HOUR will perform on Thursday, December 14 at at 8:30pm at The Moss Theatre, at the Herb Alpert Educational Village, 3131 Olympic Blvd. in Santa Monica.

Tickets are $35.00 for adults and $20.00 for students and senior citizens with ID, and are available at radioplays.tix.com or by calling 213-807-0903. All profits from the evening go to benefit Families Forward Learning Center (formerly Mothers' Club). THE MOSS THEATRE is located at 3131 Olympic Blvd. in Santa Monica, near the intersection of Olympic and Centinela at the Herb Alpert Educational Village. Parking is available in the lot with ample street parking on Nebraska, which is the street behind the theatre.

The Moss Theatre is located at 3131 Olympic Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90404. For more information, please visit www.mosstheater.com.

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