Thursday, October 24, 2013

Readers Theatre: Vintage Radio Shows +

On October 24th, the NKA Readers Theatre group presented a set of vintage radio plays. The first selection was an episode of The Lone Ranger. Created by George Trendle, the series first aired in 1933 and lasted for 22 years. Fran Striker wrote most of the scripts, eventually adding the "silver bullet" and Tonto, the faithful companion. 
The Lone Ranger script, an episode entitled "Fear," provided parts for nearly the entire group of Readers.
The opening scene featured (left to right) Virginia Kelly as the dying Sheriff Jim Barnes, Dawn Keller as Dan, Ron Gill as Tonto, and Grant Thomas in the title role.
Barkeeper Audene Campbell (center) with a band of ne'er-do-wells.  From left: Linda Lindley, Kathy Priddy, Audene Campbell, Carole Hagler, and Linda Smith
Annette Neil as Judy (left), and the scheming banker Thomas, read by Karen Behning (right) 
Banker Thomas (Karen Behning) confronts his henchmen (Lois Wellard & Linda Smith)

The second radio play was the pilot episode of I Love Lucy. Lucille Ball had previously appeared as a sophisticated housewife on the radio show, My Favorite Husband, but the writers changed her character to be more child-like, scheming, and impulsive. This character became the Lucy we know today, and the comedy became more reliant on slapstick humor.
As these Readers delivered their parts, they occasionally broke into song. Left to right: Dawn Keller as Desi Arnaz, Linda Lindley as Lucy, Carole Hagler as Fred Mertz, and Kathy Priddy as Ethel Mertz.
Jane Riley (left) was the director for this month's performance. Sound technician Rosa Mena (right) provided theme music and a wide variety of complex sound effects, including gunshots, angry wasps, stampeding horses, and dripping faucets.
The Readers finished the afternoon's performance with a reminder that Halloween is coming soon. Donna Thomas (left) and Carol Nelson (right) read Woody Allen's skit, "Death Knocks," an encounter between a New York clothing manufacturer and The Grim Reaper.
Whether in the cast or part of the audience, 
a good time was had by all!

The next Readers Theatre performance is scheduled for November 21st. Watch for the announcement emailed to all NKA members.