Austin travels back in time with ‘Golden Age of Radio’

Published 1:36 pm Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When Prudence Johnson hits the stage, she intends to entertain.

That’s her plan for Saturday evening, when she and pianist Dan Chouinard visit Austin’s Paramount Theatre for a free community performance of the “Golden Age of Radio.”

A singer at heart, Johnson said music certainty plays a role in the performance — but that isn’t all this show has to offer.

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“It’s a concert that is also historical,” she said. “There’s a lot of storytelling.”

The duo does that by painting a picture through the use of digital imagery, along with spoken word and music — and a lot of light-hearted humor thrown in.

“We try to make it as fun as possible,” she said. “These anecdotes and stories that we tell, they’re not downers.”

For those who enjoy to be a part of the production, the show does feature songs the audience is encouraged to join in on.

“There’s a lot of sing-a-longs, which people enjoy a lot,” Johnson said.

While the event, which has been performed around the state, tends to draw crowds made up of those who remember the golden age of radio, Johnson said the event is for anyone and everyone.

“I think it’s kind of fun for them to learn about it,” she said. “I highly recommend younger people to come out.”

Both Johnson and Chouinard may be familiar to long-time listeners of Minnesota Public Radio’s “Prairie Home Companion,” a production the two performers worked with in the early 2000’s. Johnson is also known for her music and work with children’s theater in the St. Paul area.

Chouinard is considered one of the greatest pianists to ever come to of Minnesota, according to Johnson.

The event, hosted by the Austin Public Library, will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23 at the Paramount Theatre. Tickets for the event are free of charge.

What: Golden Age of Radio, sponsored by the Austin Public Library
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23
Where: Paramount Theatre