Radio comedy fills Oldcastle Theatre's holiday stockings

BENNINGTON, Vt. — Oldcastle Theatre's third annual Holiday Variety Show, a nostalgic excursion to a time of memorable songs and radio comedy, is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the theater at 331 Main St.

A large cast of Oldcastle favorites and local performers — Christine Decker, Richard Howe, Peter Langstaff, Willy Jones, Jody Schade, Paul Romero, The Mount Anthony Union High School Chorus, singer-pianist Lynn Sweet, Oldcastle producing artistic director Eric Peterson and some surprises — will return the audience to a time when radio and television variety programs were the rage and folks sat home clustered around the radio or TV and sang along. This year's program will feature two of radio's most popular comedies, "My Friend Irma" and "Easy Aces."

Ticket information      is available by phone at 802-447-0564 or online at

"My Friend Irma" premiered on radio in 1947 and ran until 1954 and inspired a television series and two movies featuring wacky Irma and her level-headed friend, Jane. The TV series, which ran for three years was the first CBS program broadcast from Hollywood Television City. The movie "My Friend Irma" starred Marie Wilson (Irma) and Diane Lynn but is best remembered today as introducing Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis to moviegoers. The comedy duo returned in the sequel "My Friend Irma Goes West." There was even a "My Friend Irma" comic strip.

"Easy Aces was a comedic radio stalwart for 15 years from 1930 to 1945 and considered one of the best written, wittiest of its time. The series starred Goodman Ace and his wife Jane. Goodman wrote the program which ran as many as five times each week in a 15-minute format.. There were also "Easy Aces" movies in the '30s and a TV series in the late '40s-early '50s.


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