This one might get a little personal. I was introduced to the classic radio show Suspense by my father. He had 4 little box sets of I think 4 cassettes each probably 1 show on each side, complete with commercials for sponsors Roma Wines and Autolite Spark Plugs. We would listen to the shows in the car together and we loved them. Last night at the Park Square Theatre, though my Dad has been gone for 15 years now, I was transported back to those car rides together. Listening to tale after tale well calculated to keep us in …..SUSPENSE!!!
The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society (MORLS) recreated live, two classic radio thrillers from the 1940’s. The performance included live music and sound effects just like they did in the golden age of radio. The group used the original scripts including the CBS identification and the Sponsorship ads. The first script they did was “Sorry, Wrong Number” and it was from the series Suspense. Boy, the memories come flooding back when I heard that ad for Roma Wines. The second script was from the radio series Escape titled, “Three Skeleton Key”. This title also brought back memories of my old college professor, mentor and friend Ted Larson. He played for us, in a class on Radio and TV, a recording of Three Skeleton Key starring Vincent Price. It was an ear opening experience and always stuck with me as a perfect illustration of the power of the theater of the mind. The sound of all those rats!!!! I’m not going to go into the details of these stories as the remaining shows scheduled at Park Square Theatre will each contain 2 different scripts per show.
Using their voices to paint a picture in your mind so vivid that if you close your eyes you can see the action in your minds eye. Like my father before me, I also introduced my kids to this type of story telling when they were younger. My youngest used to listen and re-listen to Bradbury 13, a series of radio adaptations of Ray Bradbury stories created in the 1980’s. There’s something magical about stories told this way. It engages the audience more than TV or film does and because of the sound effects and voice acting, it tends to paint a more vivid picture in our minds than reading a story in a book does. It’s a very special process and I encourage everyone to experience it for yourselves. And parents, do what my father and I did, share this with your kids. It will be a unique experience unlike anything they have experienced before. Take them to a theatre let them watch as these performers bring to life multiple characters and create a world of sound using props. And then have a discussion about what it was like back in those days before TV, before the internet. This will be a unique and entertaining experience for the whole family.
For more information and to purchase tickets for upcoming performances visit http://www.ghoulishdelights.com/ or https://parksquaretheatre.org/ The show I attended was sold out from what I could tell, so I advise you to plan ahead and get tickets sooner rather than later, you will not be disappointed. Upcoming performances at Park Square Theatre are February 17th, March 9th, April 20th, and May 11th. The group also hosts a weekly podcast visit http://www.ghoulishdelights.com/series/themorls/ I know I’ll be checking that out.