The Scene

Director Regina Belt-Daniels, Rikki Lee Travolta discuss holiday play at Elgin Theatre Company

‘It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play’ opens Nov. 10

Regina Belt-Daniels directs a holiday play for Elgin Theatre Company, opening Nov. 10.

In 2022, noted director Regina Belt-Daniels won the Life and Times Heartstrings Award for her direction of “I Hate Hamlet” at Elgin Theatre Company, a production that starred Rikki Lee Travolta.

Returning to Elgin to direct the company’s presentation of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” Belt-Daniels joins Travolta on “It’s Showtime with Rikki Lee” to discuss her new production, which runs weekends from Nov. 10 to 19, at the Elgin Art Showcase. Travolta’s program, which started as a Huntley-based radio show, is now ranked as a top entertainment news podcast available on all major apps, a news release stated.

To listen to the newest episode, visit:

On the episode, Travolta and Belt-Daniels discuss the history and virtues of the classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” film, starring Jimmy Stewart, and the special differences that make the live radio play production so worth seeing, the release stated.

The Elgin Theatre Company show features a live foley, or sound effects, artist and an award-worthy art deco set by scenic designer Barry Norton.

Belt-Daniels, also well-known as a Northwest Herald theater reviewer, is a McHenry County resident whose resume includes recent productions with three Crystal Lake theater programs: Williams Street Repertory at the Raue Center For The Arts, Right Center Left Production Company, which produces dinner theater, and The Black Box Theatre at McHenry County College, which balances a slate of professional and educational productions.

The cast of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” features the acting talents of John Mayhall, Jim Pierce, William Athow, Gordy Whiting, Audrey Gniech, Brian Rabinowitz, Paul Lockwood, Dwight Brown, Jami Johnson, Devon Ortiz, Shirley May Byrnes, Sebastian Rus, Teagan Nauman and Rhys Read. Sign language interpretation is by Andrew Ross.

“It’s Showtime with Rikki Lee” is a half-hour weekly interview program that serves as a backstage pass to the world of entertainment, including theater, film, television, music, dance, comedy and literature.

“It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 10, 11, 17 and 18, and at 2 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 12 and 19. Elgin Art Showcase is on the eighth floor at 164 Division St. in downtown Elgin. Sunday performances will be sign acted for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

For ticket information, go to or call the box office at 847-741-0532.

Latest accolades for Rikki Lee Travolta

November is proving to be a good month for Travolta, who has won major awards as an actor, producer and writer for three different projects.

Rikki Lee Travolta (shown) will interview Regina Belt-Daniels on his radio show/podcast. She directs a holiday play for Elgin Theatre Company, opening Nov. 10.

A vocal advocate for people with disabilities, Travolta won the Best Actor Award in the Midwest Film Festival’s annual Best in the Midwest Awards for his performance in the film “The Sleight” from director Ben Kurstin for 54 Scripts Productions.

Only days earlier, Travolta earned the Best Television Pilot Award in the Seven Wonders International Film Festival as the producer of “The Polish Cooking Show” for PBS. Also in the Seven Wonders International Film Festival, he picked up the Critic’s Choice Award for his original screenplay “The Elvis Conspiracy” – which marks the 13th championship win for the Travolta-penned Elvis script in the last year.

As an alternate history thriller, Travolta’s “The Elvis Conspiracy” takes actual conspiracy theories and reimagines the world of Elvis as if they were true.

Travolta is an award-winning creative professional based in the northwest suburbs of Chicago who has worked in television, film, publishing, music and theater.

In “The Sleight,” Travolta plays The Amazing Ron - a second-rate magician eking out a living doing shows in hotel bars and banquet halls. His life changes when three beautiful women become convinced he is the reincarnation of the leader of their religious sect.

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network provides local news throughout northern Illinois