VALLEY WEEKEND

SATURDAY LIVE RADIO

Have you ever wanted to see a radio drama? You have your chance this weekend.

The Wells Fargo Radio Theater re-creates live radio drama in the tradition of the medium as practiced during the 1940s. Its production of "Christmas in El Paso" will be performed twice this Saturday at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage near Griffith Park.

Written by Rosemary and Newell Alexander, the play is about an innocent man imprisoned in turn-of-the-century Mexico while his wife awaits the birth of their child across the border in El Paso. The show is directed by James Beshears with live sound effects by David L. Krebs.

The two live performances of the show will be taped for later broadcast on radio station KSCA-FM, 101.9, at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

A reception with refreshments will follow each performance.

* "Christmas in El Paso" plays at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, 4700 Western Heritage Way. Tickets are $15 and proceeds benefit the museum. Call (213) 667-2000, Ext. 317.

TUESDAY THE RAIN IN SPAIN

The 40th anniversary road production of the Lerner and Loewe classic "My Fair Lady" opens Tuesday at the Alex Theatre in Glendale.

This Theater League production features British television star Ian Ogilvy as professor Henry Higgins and Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel in the Disney hit "The Little Mermaid," as Eliza Doolittle. Robert Mandan, Tony Tanner and Patricia Fraser round out the cast.

Based on George Bernard Shaw's play "Pygmalion," the show opened on Broadway in 1956 starring Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews. That original production won eight Tonys and ran for over 2,700 performances, at the time the longest-running show in Broadway history.

The film version, made in 1964, had Harrison reprising his role as Higgins, but film star Audrey Hepburn as Doolittle. Since Hepburn was not a singer, Doolittle's songs in the score were dubbed by Marni Nixon. A practice that was popular in Hollywood at the time, Nixon did the same trick for Natalie Wood in "West Side Story" a few years earlier.

The story is about a linguist's project to turn a London street urchin into a "proper lady" by changing her speech patterns. The show's score includes such classics as "Wouldn't It Be Loverly," "I Could Have Danced All Night," "Get Me to the Church on Time," "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" and "On the Street Where You Live."

* "My Fair Lady" opens at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. Additional performances at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Dec. 15, 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 16 and 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 17. Tickets are $32.50-$35.50. Call (800) 233-3123.

HOLIDAY MAGIC

Wellington's Restaurant and Cabaret in North Hollywood will stage "The Magic of Christmas," a fully costumed holiday revue featuring a mixture of traditional and contemporary music, for three nights only.

Holly Addy, the pianist and musical director at Wellington's, says all the performers in the show came originally from the club's open-mike night.

"It's a chance for these people to be presented," Addy says, "and to help them keep their performing chops up."

This holiday program will have the obligatory appearance by Santa Claus and even a politically correct version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

The restaurant produces three or four musical revues per year.

"The shows are a lot of fun and a lot of work," Addy said.

* "The Magic of Christmas" will run Tuesday, Wednesday and next Thursday nights only at Wellington's, 4354 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Call (818) 980-1430.

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