Friday, March 31, 2017

Jim French Productions Imagination Theatre Closes

In show business it's said "The show must go on" but alas this time it's not to be. Jim French's Imagination Theater takes its final bow as the curtain comes down on what some consider the last truly great radio drama production group in the United States. Citing age and health issues Jim French announced via the group's Facebook page that Imagination Theater would close and officially go off line effective March 19, 2017.

Imagination Theater produced a variety of original content: movies for your mind, single episode features, a one hour mystery playhouse, and several exceptional long running radio drama series. Among them The Hillary Kane Mysteries, Kincaid The Strange Seeker, Mr. Darnborough Investigates, Raffles The Gentleman Thief, The Adventures of Harry Nile, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Holmes may have been the pinnacle achievement for Jim French productions. This series is one of the finest productions Sherlock Holmes productions ever created during any time period. The group regularly recorded live before a 500 seat studio audience in a local theater using live foley sound effects and music. The live shows brought back shades of the glory days of radio drama. Their consistent and wide spread presence on the radio proved that radio drama, when done right, can still draw a large scale listening audience. Their shows were classic in nature, a throwback to the golden age of radio drama and a hit with listeners.

For 20 years Imagination Theater was America's premiere radio drama group being heard Coast to Coast, in Canada and in Australia. It featured award winning scripts and sported a talented pool of regular actors. Among them were Larry Albert, Pat French, John Patrick Lowrie, Terry Rose, John Armstrong, Kathryn Shield, Dennis Bateman, Gary Schwartz, Ellen McLain, Mary Anne Dorward,  Lee Paasch, Rick May, John Gilbert, and Phil Harper. Many big name Hollywood guests graced the productions as well, including Patty Duke, Russell Johnson, Tom Smothers, Keenan Wynn, Roddy MacDowall, Ruta Lee, John Astin, Harry Anderson and Richard Sanders.

Imagination was the beacon in the night; the star that shined the brightest. Their success was the goal to which many a radio dramatist aspired. Sadly we say goodbye to Imagination Theatre. This wonderfully talented group will be sorely missed. They leave a giant hole not only in the air waves but in the hearts and minds of many, many listeners.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

ALIENS Now A Radio Drama

Riply (Sigourney Weaver) and Captain Dallas (Tom Skerritt) started it all in 1979 when the cast of the Nostromo unwittingly brought an alien creature aboard their ship, a creature that began hunting and killing them. The legendary Alien is back! No one is safe in Christopher Golden's "Alien River of Pain."

Producer's Summary:
When Ellen Ripley finally returns to Earth, she learns that the planet LV-426 — now called Acheron — has been colonized. But LV-426 is where Ripley and the crew of the Nostromo found the original Xenomorph — the killing machine known as the Alien.
Protected by the Colonial Marines, the colonists seek to terraform the storm-swept planet. Two such residents are Anne and Russell Jorden, seeking a fortune that eluded them on Earth. On Acheron, Anne gives birth to the colony's first newborn, Rebecca Jorden, also known as Newt. The wildcatters discover a vast, decaying spaceship. The horseshoe-shaped vessel is of particular interest to Weyland-Yutani, and may be the answer to their dreams. But what Anne and Russ find on board proves to be the stuff, not of dreams, but of nightmares.

Dirk Maggs, radio drama producer/director extraordinaire, brings together a cast laden with Hollywood talent for the full-cast radio drama production of Alien: River of Pain. Featuring Golden Globe and Saturn Award nominated actress Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies, Limitless), Colin Salmon (Alien Vs Predator, Arrow, Resident Evil, James Bond Tomorrow Never Dies, James Bond The World is Not Enough) and Philip Glenister (Kingdom of Heaven, Ashes to Ashes) and Alexander Siddig (Star Trek Deep Space 9, Game of Thrones, Clash of the Titans) this science fiction action-adventure is high octane, pulse pounding, edge of your seat entertainment. Try not to scream when one of the crew gets it!

Alien: River of Pain audio clip

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Zorro and the King's Gold - All Ears Radio Theatre

Radio Drama (Audio Drama) Spotlight has learned that the 2015 program lineup for All Ears Radio Theatre in Kalamazoo, Michigan will include a new and original feature entitled Zorro and the King's Gold. We look forward to learning more about this particular presentation. No air date is yet listed. All Ears Radio Theatre broadcasts on WMUK 102.1 FM in Kalamazoo.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Lone Ranger - The Return of Butch Cavendish - Radio Drama

Rudy Ramos, Duncan Regehr, Tim Considine, Bob Daniels in The Lone Ranger, The Return of Butch Cavendish
The Lone Ranger Rides again! On the weekend of June 13-15, 2013 several Hollywood actors noted for their work in westerns came together at the Memphis Film Festival to share stories of their experiences in film and television. As part of the festivities a radio drama re-creation was performed. This year's selection was from the old time radio western series - The Lone Ranger. With an excited audience looking on in great expectation the cast ensemble took to the stage and entertained the crowd with an animated and delightful performance of The Return of Butch Cavendish.

If only more modern audio dramas could be produced with this level of acting talent. What a difference professionals make to the quality of a show! The exhibition put on by this talented group of actors was not only an enjoyable trip back down memory lane to the golden age of radio but it was also a vision of what the future of audio drama could be again. What a fabulous treat!

This outstanding performance has been made available on Youtube for your viewing and listening enjoyment. So return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear.... and enjoy this wonderfully fun episode of The Lone Ranger as the daring and resourceful masked man takes on a fiendish outlaw in The Return of Butch Cavendish.

Hi-Yo Silver Away!

Featured in the cast:

Bob Daniels (grandson of Brace Beemer – radio’s Lone Ranger) as The Lone Ranger
Duncan Regehr  (Zorro) as Butch Cavendish
Don Collier (The High Chaparal) as Thunder Martin
Rudy Ramos (The High Chaparral) as Tonto
Tim Considine (Spin and Marty) as Dan Reid
David Stollery (Spin and Marty) as Captain Reid
John Buttram (son of western legend Pat Buttram) as Collins
Tommy Nolan (Buckskin ) as Sparks 
Boyd Magers (western movie historian ) as the Narrator/Announcer 
Gary Yoggy – Director-SFX-Music

# 145 Perry Mason and the Case of the Sulky Girl (CRT)

Spoiled, young heiress to be Francis Celane wants to get married. But she can't due to a stipulation in her late father's will. If she marries before turning 25 she'll lose an inheritance of over one million dollars. Determined to get her way Francis hires hard-nosed lawyer Perry Mason to convince the trustee Dexter Norton, who just happens to be her uncle, to let her marry and keep the money. But just after Uncle Dexter stubbornly refuses to see things her way he's killed and her boyfriend, Robert Gleason, is fingered for the murder. To make matters worse Francis is being blackmailed. It's a complicated, mixed up mess and Perry must sort things out quickly if he's to solve The Case of the Sulky Girl.

Perry Mason and the Case of the Sulky Girl is a Colonial Radio Theatre presentation offering solid sound design and production value. Erle Stanley Gardner provides an excellent story for dramatization. Acting varies from average to above average. Overall this is an enjoyable audio adaptation. Definitely worth listening to. A plus for any radio drama enthusiasts collection.

From CRT: 
An impetuous niece who demands her trust fund be released comes to Perry Mason for help. But it's her boyfriend who needs defending when he is charged with murdering her controlling uncle.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Hear Now Audio Festival in Kansas City, Missouri

HEAR Now Audio Festival June 20-23, 2013 Kansas City, Missouri
It's THE place to be! IF you are an audio drama lover, radio drama enthusiast, an audiobook aficionado, a voice actor, a narrator, a director, a producer, an editor, a publisher, a distributor or in any way involved in the world of spoken word productions then you need to be in Kansas City, Missouri from June 20th thru June 23rd for the premiere event of the year in the audio world:   HEAR Now - The Audio Fiction & Arts Festival. This four day event will feature live and recorded performances, competition of submitted works and awards, recent developments in audio preservation by showcasing newly restored and archived award-winning audio dramas, moderated discussions and panels for conversations and the exchange of new ideas and much, much more. Some of the greatest names in audio will be on hand for the HEAR Now Audio Festival - so don't miss it!

For more information about HEAR Now and the events scheduled check out their website

the place to be in June for all makers and fans of audio dramas and audiobooks!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Cleansed - Now Available From Blackstone Audio

The Cleansed, the post apocalyptic radio drama series from FinalRune Productions and the mind of Fred Greenhalgh, is now available from Blackstone Audio.

In recent years there's been an increasing fascination with the idea of an apocalypse where some life changing, earth shattering event forces mankind to pick up the pieces and rise from the ashes. Whether it's asteroids hitting the earth, thermonuclear warfare, alien invasions or an act of God people the world around continue to get keyed up over possible cataclysmic future events. So the question is: how would mankind react to the prospect of having to rebuild after a world changing event or events? The subject is a playground for the imagination. Fred Greenhalgh's FinalRune Productions gives one possible answer to that question by taking listeners on an intriguing adventure in their first season of The Cleansed.

The series has a bit of a Hitchcock feel to it and we HIGHLY encourage audio drama lovers to acquaint themselves with this most entertaining and fascinating story from one of the best new audio theater producers in the world. For those not familiar with Fred Greenhalgh we offer you this insight: He records every production live and on location. For example an outdoor scene that calls for crossing a river will actually be recorded at a river location either in the water or from the shore. Or if a scene calls for people running through a forest, the cast of actors is actually recorded running through a wooded area. This recording style brings with it a realism that gives productions from FinalRune an authentic cinematic sound.  It's an experience audio aficionado's won't want to miss. Live on-site recording coupled with solid writing and acting make The Cleansed a most enjoyable series.

From Fred Greenhalgh:

The Cleansed is a post-apocalyptic adventure, yes. But it is not about the apocalypse. It is about Luke, Maria, and Marc – three youths who grow up in the context of a world greatly reduced in size, a world insular and hard. It is about what happens to them when they respond to a call for adventure.
It is about John Prophet, who will stop at nothing to achieve his goals, leaving us to ask – is what he is trying to gain worth so high a cost? It is about Lucian, Amos, and Zeke – three characters caught in the shadows of larger-than-life characters who believe that a divine reckoning is coming.
Oh, a reckoning is coming to the world of The Cleansed. But is it the work of actual angels and demons, or that of humans who have embraced the angels and demons of their nature?  Is the reckoning avoidable, or inevitable?  And can we as individuals, small as we are, but empowered with choice, do anything to change the course of events much bigger than ourselves?
The Cleansed does not answer these questions but explores them, and, with a bit of luck, leaves us asking those same questions of our world today.

To learn more about The Cleansed visit the shows official website.