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'The Price is Right Live' brings classic game show to Siouxland audience

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SIOUX CITY -- Celebrating its 50th continuous year in television this year, CBS's "The Price is Right" has become iconic.

"'The Price is Right' is TV's premiere pricing game," veteran emcee Mark L. Wahlberg explained. "No other show can match it."

Wahlberg ought to know. The host of such shows as USA's "Temptation Island" and PBS's long-running "Antiques Roadshow" will be bringing "The Price is Right Live: On Stage" to the Orpheum Theatre, 528 Pierce St., at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

An offshoot of the popular daytime program, hosted by comedian Drew Carey, "The Price is Right Live: On Stage" is exactly what you think it is: the game show, presented live with local contestants.

And yes, many of the same pricing games like Cliff Hangers, Hole in One and Plinko, are part of the stage version.

But there are some key differences between "The Price is Right Live: On Stage" and its TV sibling. 

First and, perhaps, most importantly, the stage show isn't televised.

"The contestants you see on television have all been pre-selected for the show," Wahlberg said. "On the stage show, everyone has a chance to be a contestant."

Plus, people attending "The Price is Right Live" have more chances to win.

"We get to call on more people," Wahlberg said. "The TV show has a studio audience of 250 people while the stage show may have an audience of 2,000 people. We want everyone to come away a winner." 

Wahlberg has been one of the rotating hosts of "The Price is Right Live" for more than 15 years.

Other stage show hosts have included such diverse names as actor George Hamilton, talk show host Jerry Springer and, believe it or not, former NSYNC boy bander Joey Fatone.

"'The Price is Right' is the ultimate gig for any emcee," Wahlberg said. "You determine the pace and make sure things run smoothly."

At the end of the day, it is truly the contestants who are the stars of the show.

"The contestants can and will say anything," Wahlberg said. "That's the fun part."

Explaining the enduring popularity of the show, he mentioned "The Price is right" has play-along appeal.

"The best game shows are the ones where you can play along at home," Wahlberg said. "It is impossible not to put yourself in the shoes of the contestants. We cheer them on when they win and feel bad when they don't."

In other words, it is the television equivalent of comfort food.

It's also why "The Price is Right Live: On Stage" continues to draw crowds.

After all who wouldn't want to "Come on Down!" for some "The Price is Right" excitement?

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