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Old Tyme Radio

Second ‘radio broadcast’ production at SCV Space tomorrow

Posted: May 20, 2010 4:34 p.m.
Updated: May 21, 2010 6:08 a.m.

Actors from the previous Old Tyme Radio production include, left to right, standing, Couso, Tony McPherson, Jay Potter and Jon Ross, and seated Jillian Ibarra and Lorn Vriniotis. The next Radio Show is this Saturday, May 22 at 8 p.m. It will include the science fiction piece "The Seventh Victim," and a comedy "The Magnificent Montague."

 

Remember the mass panic that spread through the country during Orson Welles' 1938 radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds?" Welles' dramatization brought the story to life for hundreds of thousands of people.

Anybody who's ever felt nostalgia for or curiosity about the days when radio was king should pay a visit to the Old Tyme Radio Theatre group.

Opening its second show this Saturday night at 8 p.m. with "The Seventh Victim" and "The Magnificent Montague," the Old Tyme group specializes in playing radio shows as though they're being recorded in front of the audience. Live sound effects and music add extra charm. The group's previous show was Wild West-themed, and this writer was there to enjoy it.

The Old Tyme Radio Theatre group performs in the SCV Space at 27600 Bouquet Canyon Road, Unit 120, in Saugus. A restaurant, pizza parlor, liquor store and other businesses surround it, creating a cozy atmosphere set apart from the busy intersection of Bouquet Canyon Road and Haskell Canyon Road nearby.

The intimate, small-town feel of Old Tyme worked perfectly in the tiny SCV Space. The actors greeted the audience members as we came in, and the double row of seats was close enough to the stage for us to literally reach out and touch the actors as they performed.

The first act was an episode of "The Lone Ranger," redone with Old Tyme's own special twist. Audience participation is not only allowed, it is invited, with various crowd responses throughout.

The villains managed to be hilariously overdramatic, yet menacing at the same time. And the Lone Ranger put on a thick lisp that drew huge laughs from the audience every time he opened his mouth.

"Gunsmoke," the second act, was a hard-edged Western with a soft heart, more along the lines of a film noir. Dodge City's Marshal Matt Dillon and his sidekick Chester had to deal with a murder, and along the way picked up a runaway boy who was more than he claimed to be.

Meanwhile, a widow that Dillon had a soft spot for tried to manipulate justice, and a scheming doctor wanted everything to work out to his benefit. The story dealt with very believable characters and serious consequences, while injecting humor and celebrating human nature - which Old Tyme clearly loved to do.The overall effect was one of facing reality, yet retaining love of life and people.

Mary Main, not only spokeswoman for the group, but also sound effects producer, was incredibly proud of that Old Tyme group. It was their first show together. "There was a problem getting the scripts," she acknowledged. "We didn't receive them until the night before our first show. But we had a rehearsal or two, and they did great!"

Old Tyme Radio Theatre can be reached through Mary Main at (661) 713-5204, or you can visit www.setheatre.com. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Currently, the group plans on performing radio theatre every other month.
Tomorrow night's performance (May 22) will begin at 8 p.m. and include the science fiction piece "The Seventh Victim," followed by a comedy, "The Magnificent Montague."

Here's hoping that the Old Tyme Radio Theatre continues to keep "oldies and goodies" alive.

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