*(Portions of this entry were taken from my previous write ups of MORLS productions)*
The Park Square Theatre Hosted The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society again this past monday. If you missed it see the bottom of this entry for upcoming performances. Each show is different – Monday’s show entitled “Future Tense” was a double feature of science fiction tales. “The Veldt” was an adaption from (1951) of the classic Ray Bradbury story for the radio program Dimension X. The second story was “A Logic Named Joe” from a 1955 broadcast on the radio program X Minus One. The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society are Shanan Custer, Joshua English Scrimshaw, Tim Uren and Eric Webster. This Quartet of radio fanatics bring to life scripts from the golden age of radio. Their performances perfectly emulate the style of the radio programs of suspense, horror, mystery, and science fiction from the 1930’s thru the 1950’s. Along with their vocal work, they also create the sound effects that accompany the tales on stage. Using their voices to paint a picture so vivid that if you close your eyes you can see the action in your minds eye. There’s something magical about stories told this way. It can engage the audience at times even more than TV or film does because we are given the audio in a way that we use our imagination to fill in the visuals, it requires a more interactive response on our part.
I was introduced to the classic radio show Suspense, by my father. He had four little box sets of four cassettes each probably one show on each side, complete with commercials for sponsors of Roma Wines and Autolite Spark Plugs. We would listen to the shows in the car together and we loved them. Like my father before me, I also introduced my kids to this type of story telling when they were younger. My youngest son George used to listen and re-listen to Bradbury 13, a series of radio adaptations of Ray Bradbury stories created in the 1980’s. Tonight, George now almost 19 years of age, accompanied me to the program so that we could experience this live version of “The Veldt” that he used to listen to in those Bradbury 13 days. We both had a great time. George was reminiscing afterwards of listening to “The Veldt” and “The Screaming Woman” to go to sleep to at night, around age 8. Interesting how even an 18 year old can become engaged and be jogged into nostalgia by something that originated 70 years ago.
If you’ve never experienced a performance like this in the style of those old radio broadcasts you really need to check it out. I highly recommend these shows for families, including grandparents who may even remember listening to some of these very shows. It’s a unique opportunity to step back in time and show the younger generation what home entertainment used to look like. I think you’ll be surprised at how well they respond to something that seems so old fashioned. George and I started the MORLS podcast on the ride home from the show, it just left us hungry for more.
Upcoming productions of The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society at Park Square Theatre:
Friday May 27th 7:30 PM – Legends of the Old West
“Death of a Picture Hanger” from Crime Classics (1953) – A true tale of the Old West told with wry wit and a sense of tragedy.
“Matt for Murder” from Gunsmoke (1954) – When Marshal Dillion is accused of murder, the governor sends another legendary lawman to Dodge City.
Sunday June 26th 2:00 PM – More Best of the Worst
“Battle of the Magicians” from Lights Out (1934) – What do magicians, airplanes, and zombies have in common? Absolutely nothing. But logic is no defense against this madcap mystical mash-up from the mind of legendary radio writer Wyllis “Quiet Please” Cooper.
“The Cup of Gold” from Dark Fantasy (1942) – A sports reporter’s investigation into the death of a golf pro leads to a series of shocking revelations! Scott Bishop’s murder mystery turned Surrealist manifesto will keep you guessing (or at least scratching your head) until the bitter, inexplicable end
go Park square theatre for tickets for in person or to stream from the comfort of your own home. Also for more information about these shows as well as an upcoming production at Open Eye Theatre of Rattus Rattus a double feature bill of Rat Centric Stories featuring the classic “Three Skeleton Key” and “The Rats in the Walls” go to http://ghoulishdelights.com/ .
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