As multi-talented as Garrison Keillor is, it’s hard to believe that Radio Man, now in its premiere production at History Theatre, is the radio legend’s first play. Not surprisingly, it’s a strong, intelligent and entertaining work that draws from Keillor’s own life and the years of his still running beloved series A Prairie Home Companion. This is a comedy that actually has an epic sweep. And, set right here in Minnesota.
The delightfully charismatic Pearce Bunting taps into the playwright’s inner being and is not so focused on trying to embody an exact physicalization. This is a wise choice as it paradoxically lets the real inner Keillor come through, complete with irreverence toward religion, warm humor regarding regular folks in rural Minnesota, and struggles particular to show business.
Director Ron Peluso’s cast is terrific. They energize the play’s radio show format with versatility and vibrancy. Angela Timberman is especially memorable as a production staffer who has a tendency to always “tell it like it is”. She’s one of the many hilarious components in a truly hilarious and heartfelt show.
Through Oct. 26
History Theatre, 30 E. 10th St., St. Paul