Old Time Radio Theatre Ensemble Company
At Beowulf Alley Theatre
Presents A Selection of Classic Radio Stories in March and April
Beowulf Alley Theatre’s Old Time Radio Theatre Ensemble Company will present classic stories from the Golden Age of Radio in March and April, at the theatre, 11 South 6th Avenue (Downtown between Broadway and Congress). Admission is $8 online a day in advance at www.beowulfalley.org or $10 at the door. Children 4-12 are always $5. The box office phone number is (520) 882-0555. Performances are usually on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 7:00. Please check our online calendar at www.beowulfalley.org to confirm.
March 1, 2011
LIGHTS OUT: CAT WIFE and CHICKEN HEART plus
VIC & SADE: MELVIN LANDED A JOB
Lights Out, an early example of a network series devoted mostly to horror and the supernatural, predated Suspense and Inner Sanctum. Versions of Lights Out aired on different networks, at various times, from January 1934 to the summer of 1947 and the series eventually made the transition to television. Lights out was first broadcast on WENR in January, 1934, on Wednesday evenings, and continued until 1947. It was run on television from 1949-1952. Written by horror specialist, Arch Obeler, Cat Wife and Chicken Heart are two of the venerable series’ classics. Cat Wife is a tongue-in-cheek, over-the-top, horror show, meant to amuse as well as scare the audience. Boris Karloff flew all the way to Chicago just to perform this show because it was a take-off of the movies he had acted in over many years. In Chicken Heart, Oboler's unique choice of monster was inspired by a Chicago Tribune article announcing that scientists had succeeded in keeping a chicken heart alive for a considerable period of time after its having been removed from the chicken. Part of the episode's notoriety stems from a classic stand-up routine by comedian Bill Cosby, an account of his staying up late as a child to listen to scary radio shows against his parents' wishes and being terrified by the chicken heart. “It’s-later-than-you-think!”
Vic and Sade was an American radio program, created and written by Paul Rhymer. It was regularly broadcast on radio from 1932 to 1944, then intermittently until 1946, and was briefly adapted to television in 1949 and again in 1957. During its 14-year run on radio, Vic and Sade became one of the most popular series of its kind, earning critical and popular success: according to Time, Vic and Sade had 7,000,000 devoted listeners in 1943. For the majority of its span on the air, Vic and Sade was heard in 15-minute episodes without a continuing story line. The central characters, known as "radio's home folks," were accountant Victor Rodney Gook, his wife Sade and their adopted son Rush. The three lived on Virginia Avenue in "the small house halfway up in the next block." The program was presented with a low-key ease and naturalness, and Rhymer's humorous dialogue was delivered with a subtleness that made even the most outrageous events seem commonplace and normal. "Well, sir, it's late afternoon as we approach the small house half way up in the next block."
March 15, 2011
LIFE WITH LUIGI: SPRINGTIME AND THE DANCE LESSON and
THE SHADOW: THE SILENT AVENGER
Life with Luigi was a radio comedy-drama series, which began September 21, 1948 on CBS, broadcasting its final episode on March 3, 1953. The story concerned Italian immigrant Luigi Basco, and his experiences as an immigrant in Chicago. Many of the shows take place at the US citizenship classes that Luigi attends with other immigrants from different countries, as well as trying to fend off the repeated advances of the morbidly-obese daughter of his landlord/sponsor. Luigi was played by J. Carrol Naish, an Irish-American. Naish continued in the role on the short-lived CBS television version in 1952 and was later replaced by Vito Scotti when the series was briefly revived in the spring of 1953. With a working title of The Little Immigrant, Life with Luigi was created by Cy Howard, who earlier had created the hit radio comedy, My Friend Irma.
The Shadow is a collection of serialized dramas, originally in pulp magazines, then on 1930s radio and then in a wide variety of media, that followed the exploits of the title character, a crime-fighting vigilante with psychic powers. One of the most famous pulp heroes of the 20th century,
The Shadow has been featured in comic books, comic strips, television and at least five movies. The radio drama is well-remembered for those episodes voiced by Orson Welles. On September 26, 1937, The Shadow radio drama officially premiered with the story "The Deathhouse Rescue", in which the character had "the power to cloud men's minds so they cannot see him." This was a contrivance for the radio; in the magazine stories, The Shadow did not have the ability to become literally invisible; he influenced the minds of his opponents by making them see him a few feet to the right or left of where he really stood. "The weed of crime bears bitter fruit. Crime does not pay.... The Shadow knows!"
April 5, 2011
THE BICKERSONS: EASTER,
VIC AND SADE: SADE THINKS BASEBALL IS JUST A GAME and
THE LONE RANGER: A DOCTOR’S STORY
The Bickersons, starring Don Ameche and Frances Langford, began as a radio sketch comedy and later became its own series. John and Blanche Bickerson spent their entire time in a relentless verbal war. Their quick dialogue brought laughter to all. Vic and Sade became one of the most popular series of its kind, earning critical and popular success: according to Time, Vic and Sade had 7,000,000 devoted listeners in 1943. The central characters, known as "radio's home folks," were accountant Victor Rodney Gook, his wife Sade and their adopted son Rush. The three lived on Virginia Avenue in "the small house halfway up in the next block." The Lone Ranger is an American radio and television icon. The title character is a masked Texas Ranger in the American Old West, originally played by George Seaton on radio, but more famously by Clayton Moore on TV, who gallops about righting injustices with the aid of his clever, laconic Native American companion Tonto, played by (amongst others) John Todd, Roland Parker, and on TV, by Jay Silverheels. Tonto usually referred to the Lone Ranger as his “quimo sabe,” meaning "trusty scout" or "trusted friend." Departing on his white stallion, who responded to the name of Silver. These sayings, as well as the theme music from the William Tell Overture, are indelibly stamped in the memories of millions of Americans (and Britons) who came of age during the decades of the show's initial popularity or viewed the television series run nearly continuously for past fifty years.
April 19, 2011
THE WESTERN – EPISODE 1: LAWLESS BREWSTER and
ARIZONA RANGERS, MEN OF DANGER – EPISODE 1: MOSSMAN
Back in the grand old days of radio, our own John Vornholt wrote for radio( and TV). This episode of The Mutual Radio Theatre’s The Western (Episode 1: Lawless Brewster), starred John Dehner and was narrated by Lorne Greene. Old Pueblo Playwrights’ Avylinn Pwyll wrote Arizona Ranger: Men of Danger: Episode 1: Mossman, as a radio show, especially for OTRT, and for the benefit of, and to honor, the Arizona Rangers. It was first presented at The Congress Hotel in conjunction with Dillinger Days, 2011. This is the beginning of a series of radio scripts based upon true stories of the early years of the brave men who enforced the law in the Arizona Territory.
Directed by Sheldon Metz, the OTRT Ensemble Company includes Jon Benda, Janet Bruce, Butch Bryant, Gerri Courtney-Austein, Laura Davenport, Samuel De Jesus, Evan Engle, Sydney Flynn, Vince Flynn, Audrey Ann Gambach, Barbara Glover, Bill La Pointe, Elizabeth Leadon, Butch Lynn, Steve McKee, Whitney Morton, Joan O'Dwyer, Shannon Brooke Rzuildo, Mike Saxon, Danielle Shirar, Ina Shivack, Terry Thune, Pat Timm, Jared Stokes, Brian Wees and John Vornholt .
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