Beowulf Alley Theatre's Old Time Radio Theatre Company will present classic productions and reproductions from the golden days of radio at the theatre, 11 South 6th Avenue (Downtown between Broadway and Congress). Performances in October will be Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on October 4, and October 18, 2011. Tickets purchased online at www.beowulfalley.org at least the day before a performance are $8.00. Tickets by phone or at the door are $10. Children 12 years and under are free. The box office phone number is (520) 882-0555.
October 4, 2011
MA PERKINS (1935)
Ma Perkins (sometimes called Oxydol's Own Ma Perkins) is an American radio soap opera which was heard on NBC from 1933 to 1949 and on CBS from 1942 to 1960. Between 1942 and 1949, the show was heard simultaneously on both networks. OXYDOL dropped its sponsorship in 1956. Ma Perkins began August 14, 1933 on WLW in Cincinnati. On December 4 of that year, it graduated to the NBC Red network. On NBC and CBS the series ran for a total of 7,065 episodes thru November 25, 1960. "America's Mother of the Air" was portrayed by actress Virginia Wade who began the role at the age of 23 and never missed a performance during the program's 27-year run. Kindly, trusting widow, Ma Perkins, had a big heart and a great love of humanity. She always offered her homespun philosophy to troubled souls in need of advice.
SUSPENSE: Leiningen vs. the Ants (January 14, 1948)
Leiningen Versus the Ants is a classic short story published in the December 1938 edition of Esquire. The story centers on a scrappy, no-nonsense plantation owner called Leiningen (his first name is never mentioned in the story), and his stubborn refusal to abandon his plantation in the face of a seemingly unstoppable mass of army ants described as "an elemental-an act of God."
The district commissioner (who narrates the radio adaptation in the first person) describes the threat Leiningen faces: "Ten miles long, two miles wide-ants, nothing but ants!" Additionally, each ant is approximately the size of a man's thumb and wants to consume any form of life that falls in its path. It is also mentioned that they can completely pick the flesh from a deer in six minutes.
This special encore presentation was presented at Beowulf Alley on December 31, 2009 to a sold-out audience. Amazing sound effects.
October 18, 2011
OZZIE & HARRIET: Haunted House
Ozzie Nelson & his orchestra gained national network radio exposure after appearing at a chance booking at the Glen Island Casino in the 30's. Ozzie and his lead singer, Harriet Hilliard, married in October 8, 1938, during this series' run, and realized working together in radio would keep them together more than continuing their musical careers separately. They became part of The Red Skelton Show, as performers and musicians. When Skelton was drafted in March 1944, Ozzie Nelson was prompted to create his own family situation comedy. The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet launched on CBS on October 8, 1944, moving to NBC in October 1948, and making a late-season switch back to CBS in April 1949. The final years of the radio series were on ABC (the former NBC Blue Network) from October 14, 1949 to June 18, 1954. In total 402 radio episodes were produced. In an arrangement that amplified the growing pains of American broadcasting, as radio "grew up" into television, the Nelsons' deal with ABC gave the network the option to move their program to television. The struggling network needed proven talent that was not about to defect to the more established and wealthier networks like CBS or NBC. In Haunted House, Ozzie tries to prove to his sons that there's no such thing as ghosts.
MERCURY THEATRE: Dracula
The Mercury Theatre was founded in NYC in 1937 by Orson Welles and John Houseman. After a string of live theatrical productions, in 1938 The Mercury Theatre progressed into their best-known period as The Mercury Theatre on the Air, a radio series that included one of the most notable and infamous radio broadcasts of all time, The War of the Worlds, broadcast on October 30, 1938. The Mercury Theatre on the Air produced live radio dramas in 1938-1940 and again briefly in 1946. The Mercury Theatre troupe included Carl Frank, Joseph Cotton, Martin Gabel, Vincent Price, Agnes Moorhead, Ray Collins, Hans Conreid, Paul Stewart, Will Geer, George Coulouris, Olive Stanton and Everett Horton. Other screen and television performers, like Betty Garrett, Anne Baxter and Judy Holliday also appeared in productions in smaller parts. This evening, we will present a Halloween special, the Classic tale of Bram Stoker's Dracula.