SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A popular radio show in KELOLAND is going on stage. Jeff Gould will be performing a stage version of “A Prairie Christmas” at various communities including Pierre, Dell Rapids and Beaver Creek.
“That is the Christmas Canon that goes out to Kevin on 101.9 KELO FM,” host Jeff Gould said.
Jeff Gould has been sharing Christmas music and Christmas stories for more than a dozen years on his radio show. But now he’s going from the studio to the stage.
His producer, Bob Uecker saw Jeff doing a version of his radio show at Augustana. In his words, it blew him away.
“This is one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time on stage,” Uecker said.
Uecker talked his friend into more shows, so far 7 including this one at the Military Heritage Alliance called An American Christmas. We caught up with them as they rehearsed.
Jeff Gould: “Is there too much movement with that, or are we ok with that?
Bob Uecker: “I’m ok with it.”
Putting a show together is a lot of work, but the magic isn’t reserved for just the audience even Jeff gets a surprise or two.
“Check that out! That is beautiful. that is what we want!” Jeff exclaimed while rehearsing.
On stage, Jeff Gould is a storyteller.
“So, there we were in November dropped off on the edge of a field with two empty feed sacks,” said Gould during rehearsal.
No script in hand, no teleprompter. His words come from his memory, his experiences, and his heart.
“There is just this tiny bit and my sister said how long is that going to last?”
Bob: “He really makes you feel like a kid again.”
Jeff: “I think everybody at Christmas is 8 years old.”
Gould shares those feelings in a way that lets us experience them right along with him. He says being on stage is different from radio in many ways.
“Radio — you have an audience and they’re all spread out listening individually, right? This — the audience is all together, so interesting things happen, they hear the stories together, they remember together they laugh together, they grow together, and they become together, it’s cool!”
He hopes those attending his shows come in as strangers they leave as friends.
“I get so much comfort out of sharing that time with you even though we never meet, it’s magical,” Gould said. “I can even hardly describe the feeling and the honor and the warmth because as I share the stories, I realize wow these people are just like me; we are just like each other.”
For Gould sharing a Prairie Christmas on stage is a passion, a calling and a gift… To be given and received.
There are only a couple of shows where you have the opportunity to buy tickets to attend. One is coming up at the Opera House in Dell Rapids and the other is a dinner show in Beaver Creek, Minnesota.
The goal is to eventually bring this stage show to a national audience.