The Grand Theatre’s production of John Olive’s The Voice of the Prairie is like money and radio – it’s magic.
Using only three actors, the show seamlessly blends scenes from the characters’ past and present. Each actor portrays several different characters, but they are so good at what they do, it is easy to forget that there are only three of them on stage.
Set at the turn of the 20th century, The Voice of the Prairie follows the life of Davey Quinn. Quinn, played by Jonathan McBride meets Frankie the Blind Girl played by Stephanie Purcell. Their story is told through the magic of ether via the radio by David Quinn, Davey’s older self, played by David Hanson.
The central conflict in the story springs up from the separation of Quinn and Frankie, and their two older selves trying to come to terms with the loss of the magic of youth and what each perceives as betrayal.
The production is top notch. The set emphasizes the trio of actors through its triangular disposition, and sound effects are used much like they were in the days of radio plays – instead of a door, the sound of the door is used.The actors are so good that the audience can believe even in those things that aren’t really there.
The Voice of the Prairie runs through February 9 with performances Thursday thru Saturday evening, an evening performance on Wednesday, Jan. 30 and matinee performances on Saturday, Jan. 26 and Feb. 2. Admission is free for Salt Lake Community College students.