ST. CLOUD -- A traditional holiday musical comedy show returns to Pioneer Place Theatre this weekend.

Laughing All the Way IX: A New Hope, follows the story of the lovable Paddy O'Hanahan, who after his sabbatical, returns to KLAF TV to find the annual Christmas show has no host.

Raine Hokan plays O'Hanahan and says he loves the audience engagement the show brings.

The audience loves it. We interact with them, we don't force audience participation, if we have a company party that comes in we acknowledge them and that's what makes it fun.

The show is written and performed by local actors, musicians, writers and technical crews.

Dan Barth is one of the shows original creators and plays the tipsy Hank Hawkins, who is turned into the new show host. He says each year they write new sketches and add new characters to keep it fresh.

The decision we have to make every year is the theme. We've done everything from a telethon to a cruise ship, so it's just a matter of where do we want to put the cast.

Jay Terry plays one of many roles in the holiday performance. He says it's great to see so many of the original cast members returning every year as well as the audience.

I think that's what keeps people coming back, the audience doesn't feel like they are at a show but rather in a show, which is cool.

Laughing All the Way runs Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Tickets for the show start at $25.

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