October 07, 2008

Raven's Radio Hour

Theater, with elders' help, laughs at itselfIf anyone ever doubted Alaska Natives' sense of humor, they need only check out the latest theater production at the Alaska Native Heritage Center.

There are very few sacred cows in director Ed Bourgeois' "Raven's Radio Hour" mad-cap musical. Anything is game.
And:Throughout the show, this pair, reminiscent of the two grouchy men from "The Muppet Show," will argue, laugh, eat and sing and switch in and out of character, all the while teasing Raven, the show's trickster and black-wing-clad host.

Five actors make up the cast in this Native take on "A Prairie Home Companion," hosted by author Garrison Keillor and broadcast on National Public Radio nationwide for more than 30 years.

A first of its kind in Alaska Native theater, "The Tundra Home Companion," as Bourgeois jokingly called it, has all the components of the original version and then some.

Almost as a matter of necessity, there were jokes about common Native misconceptions such as igloos. "We all live in igloos," as one character said. "Mine is a condo," answered the other.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Native Plays and Other Stage Shows.

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