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Voice of the Prairie. As this play opens, an Irish hobo wanders turn-of-the-century Kansas with his young son, Davey, reminiscing and spinning tales. After his death, a grieving Davey encounters Frankie, a blind girl, and the two flee her abusive father and commence a life of begging and riding the rails. The plot flashes forward to 1923 to show Leon Schwab, a New York huckster, selling radios in little prairie towns. To tempt the locals and place his radios in hardware stores, he needs content. He finds it in the wistful stories David Quinn, the now-grown-up Davey, tells about his life with Frankie. There are a lot of strengths to this production, which reopens the Denver Victorian Playhouse and is directed in a gently elegiac key by Terry Dodd. The problem is that the first part of Olive's play, with its magical children, their story framed by the wonder and eccentricity of radio's early years, is literally a hard act to follow. The second act has nowhere near the charm of the first, and the happy ending is unconvincing. All of the performances are fine, however, and the quietly committed acting of Alex Hill as Davey and Katie Paxton as Frankie give this production its soul. Presented by the Denver Victorian Playhouse through October 16, 4201 Hooker Street, 303-433-4343, Reviewed September 29.

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