PREVIEW: Three Upcoming Shows From the Fine Folks at The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society (MORLS)

Sometimes There are one off productions for which a review makes no sense. Why write, or from your point of view read, a review about a show you cannot see because it’s already closed? The performances of The MORLS or The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society for long, fall into that category for the most part. They usually perform their live performances of old and original Radio scripts once a month at Bryant Lake Bowl. Performed in the manner of broadcasts from the golden age of radio, creating the sound effects and music live. They have a busy month and a half coming up with a couple of unique things scheduled in addition to their monthly gig at Bryant lake bowl. Which this month will be an Agatha Christie themed show. First up they are performing a “Best of the Best of Radio Drama” show at Crooners Supper Club in NE Minneapolis. And then in May there will be a an original stage play written and Directed by company member Tim Uren and featuring the troupes resident heroine Shanan Custer in the cast at The Crane Theater in NE Minneapolis. I’ve copied the pertinent details for each show at the bottom of this post.

I have a soft spot for what The MORLS do. I was won over to the “Theater of the Mind” as a teenager listening to old episodes of the series Suspense! (best when spoken with a rising emphasis) and the more recently created Bradbury 13 on cassette tapes with my Dad. I also credit these radio stories with turning me into a lifelong fan of audiobooks, my audible library contains nearly 1,000 titles. For me there is something magical about a great audio presentation of a story, and the performances by the MORLS are as good as any old broadcast I’ve come across. I also think these shows are great for families, it gives young people an idea of what life was like before TV and the internet and Grandma and Grandpa will love it too as it may bring back happy memories of simpler times. They’re great conversation starting shows as well between the generations on the ride home in the car.

If you haven’t attended one of these performances before there is no better introduction than their next show which features two of the very best radio scripts ever. I’ve seen the MORLS perform both of these before and believe me, if you see only one MORLS production this month make it “Best of the Best of Radio Drama” show at Crooners Supper Club.

“Sorry, Wrong Number” from Suspense: Lucille Fletcher’s famous radio play tells the story of a woman confined to her bed who overhears two men plotting a murder. First broadcast May 25th, 1943.

“Three Skeleton Key” from Escape: Three lighthouse keepers battle a horde of rats in this classic story from French writer George Toudouze. First broadcast November 15th, 1949.

Performing at Crooners Supper Club
6161 Highway 65 NE, Minneapolis, MN
Thursday, April 13

Showtime: 7:00 PM
Doors are at 6:00 PM
Tickets: $25-$35

go here for Tickets

After that you’re sure to be a fan and will want to check out their regular home at Bryant Lake Bowl for “Agatha Christie Night”. What’s great about Bryant Lake Bowl Theater is you can arrive early and order dinner to enjoy while watching the performances. One note of warning, the nachos are not an appetizer, they are a full blown meal and they are delicious!

The Agatha Christie double-feature! will consist of two audio plays by the grand dame of mystery. performed in the style of an old-time radio broadcast, including vintage commercials and live sound effects.

“Philomel Cottage” from Suspense (1942): When newlywed Alix finds a mysterious entry in her husband’s diary, their idyllic marriage begins to fall apart. A vintage tale of suspense based on one of Agatha Christie’s most adapted stories.

“The Chocolate Box” from A Toast to Murder (premiere): Hercule Poirot recounts his one and only failure as a detective. A new adaptation of a fan favorite Poirot story.

PLUS: A sneak peek at next month’s MORLS season finale and a 1945 radio message from Agatha Christie!

Performing at the Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater
810 West Lake St, Minneapolis, MN
Sunday, April 16

Showtime: 7:00 PM
Doors are at 6:30 PM
Tickets: $18

For tickets go to

And finally that original play by Tim Uren, The Tourist Trap. I’ll be at opening night May 5th in order to write a review as this one is different and runs for three weeks. But don’t wait for my review join me opening night, the Crane Theater is general admission so get your tickets for a The Stages of MN meetup!

Within this creepy road-side attraction, tourists are invited to peruse the relics of the notorious death cult founded by Marcus Bingham. In the late 19th century, they terrorized the population of the Black Hills of South Dakota. Bingham’s followers claimed that he had strange powers and they worshiped him like a god. Today’s visitors are about to discover that this house holds a deadly deception. It’s dangerous to be a lost soul so far from home. This is a revised and expanded version of thrilling 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival production!

Featuring Alicia LaneShanan CusterSean DillonJay KistlerAriel PinkertonMerit Burgett, and Catherine Hansen. Written and directed by Tim Uren.

2303 Kennedy St. NE
Friday – Sunday, May 5 – 7
Thursday – Sunday, May 11 – 14
Thursday – Saturday, May 18 – 20

For tickets click here

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I am also a member of the Twin Cities Theater Bloggers (TCTB), you can read roundups of shows by my colleagues and I on facebook @TwinCitiesTheaterBloggers. Follow that group, It’s a great way to see reviews for shows I don’t get to or to get another blogger’s take on one I did. We have some exciting things in the works for 2023 for the TCTB and our readers. Follow us to be the first to know about those happenings like our recent Prom Date with the TCTB that we held on March 4th. If you didn’t make it to that event there’s still time to see the The Prom at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres (CDT) thru June 10th . You can view the TCTB Talk Back that we held on March 4th with the CDT Artistic Director and three of the stars of The Prom here

Watch for an exciting announcement of the next TCTB event soon and save the date, May 4th!