When I heard that Lyric Stage Company here in Boston was doing NICHOLAS NICKLEBY I applauded the scope. When I heard members of the company talk about it, I applauded the passion. And now that I’ve seen both parts, I applaud the production. Two parts, three hours each. Twenty-four actors playing dozens of parts. Stunning elements by Boston designers. Big and bold.
And wonderful. I was transported and sorry when it ended. I could give you specifics, but instead I encourage you to go see it. Try to see both parts. If you can’t, see at least one of them. Then we’ll talk.
The past couple of Christmases have developed a new “tradition” which would be hard to schedule. After a flurry of activity with my sister and her family in Maryland, my parents and I have a nightcap and listen to a Washington DC station that plays old radio shows. We’ve caught the Lionel Barrymore version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. (Scroll down on this link–they have it available on this website.) It isn’t just Lionel Barrymore–it is narrated (and was directed) by Orson Welles.
I love radio plays. You can listen and knit and lose yourself. It always amazes me that you don’t miss the picture, because the narrative structure lets you see the show. Now this is an abridged version (and only runs an hour), and it centers around the star. But it is worth a listen.
And realizing that some people may not know who Lionel Barrymore was (though that makes me sad), he was Mr. Potter in IT”S A WONDERFUL LIFE. He was also great in KEY LARGO and A GUY NAMED JOE and YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU and…
So take an hour and lose yourself in this radio play. (Here’s another website in case the first one doesn’t work.) What do you think?