THE MARTIANS ARE COMING OCTOBER 21st

On Saturday, October 21st at 2:00 PM, at St John’s United Lutheran Church in Seattle, Washington, David Persson will present a re-creation of The Mercury Theatre’s presentation of H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds,” originally produced by John Houseman and directed by Orson Welles.

This program was in the continuing tradition of The Mercury Theatre on the Air of adapting classic works of literature for a radio audience. Adapted by Howard E. Koch from the original story by Wells, this story was deliberately aimed at a modern radio audience by inserting news bulletins and on the spot news reporting into the framework of the story. Also, the story was moved from 19th century England to modern America.

As a self-sustaining show, with no commercial sponsor, The Mercury Theatre and Orson Welles had more freedom to push boundaries in terms of content and style. Welles’ reputation as a theatrical marvel on Broadway had opened many doors for him. His audacious and radical re-styling of Shakespeare’s plays had opened many eyes to the possibilities of re-setting classic dramas in contemporary political and social situations.

Originally broadcast on October 30th, 1938 by the Columbia Broadcasting System, the original script by Koch was rejected by Welles as being dull and tedious. He suggested that it be modernized and put in the format of news flashes and bulletins interrupting regular network programing. The locale was also changed from London to Grover’s Mill, New Jersey. Welles assembled a small group of actors – among which included Ray Collins, Kenny Delmar, and Richard Wilson – to play the variety of characters in the story. The actors spent many hours listening to acetate recordings of news reporting to get the right inflections and capture a sense of authenticity for the performance.

When the show was broadcast, a fortuitous event occurred. The Chase and Sanborn Hour was being broadcast at the same time on rival network, NBC. When the show changed pace from the comedy of Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy to a song by Nelson Eddy, many listeners started dial twisting (the 1930’s equivalent to channel surfing with television) and came upon the War of the Worlds broadcast, missing the original opening of the show. For those who stayed to listen to the entire show, it soon became evident that it was a fictional show and not a true rendering of an actual event. However, those who missed the beginning of the broadcast were were fooled into believing that Earth was indeed being invaded by aliens from Mars.

For our REPS production of “The War of the Worlds,” obviously we will lack the advantage of surprise to captivate our listening audience. Our goal as a production team and a group of actors will be to deliver an entertaining live performance, as we recreate this well-documented and extensively researched broadcast.

The performance will be produced by David Persson and directed by Monica Chilton. Some of the performers will be familiar to our REPS audience, and others will be new to the club. I hope that many people looking for some spooky entertainment on the eve of Halloween will come to see some great performances and enjoy each other’s company.

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THE WAR OF THE WORLDS

Sat, Oct 21 @ 2:00 pm

5515 Phinney Ave N Seattle WA 98103

Free and Open to the Public

The REPS Radio Artists are back and are excited to present the infamous radio drama The War of The Worlds*! The legendary show broadcast in 1938 by Orson Welles and The Mercury Theater On The Air over the CBS Radio Network will be performed live onstage.  Join our cast of actors and sound effects artists as they recreate one of the most famous radio plays of all time – just in time for Halloween!

*Written by Howard E. Koch, The War of the Worlds is produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc.

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IF YOU SURVIVE FRIDAY THE 13TH, YOU WILL EXPERIENCE THE HALLOWEEN SPOOKTAKULAR!

What is the REPS Halloween Spooktakular?  On Saturday ,October 14th,  the mysterious host will appear and take you on a journey into a strange new world . . . of audio drama . . . presented live on stage for your seasonal enjoyment.    Find your way to the Auburn Eagles Club, for on this one afternoon there exists another dimension which will take you into the world beyond.  In this world you will find that it’s Halloween and only moments away from midnight.   As the ominous clock tolls away at midnight, our ghostly hosts will appear and the adventure begins.   We’ll warm you up with a couple of choice Halloween songs and then the drama unfolds with three tales of Halloween Horror.  the first, an original tale of a mystery box containing something creepy and deadly from the pen of Roger Kim. Followed by a classic tale of revenge from the pen of Edgar Allen Poe.  Last but not least,  a special presentation performed courtesy of Campfire Radio Theater .  From the creative pen of John Ballentine, an original tale that begins with harmless pranks in peaceful suburbia but quickly turns dark when a young woman comes to fear that her majestic home which sits next to a graveyard just might be haunted.  We trust that you will have a fun experience as you watch live radio drama unfold on stage accompanied by crafty and creative live sound effects.     REPS, we make Halloween fun and for the lowest cost in town!

The REPS Halloween Spooktakular

Sat Oct 14 2:00-4:00 PM   Eagles Hall 702 M Street Auburn, WA

Free and Open to the Public

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A look Back at Super Saturday: REPS’ Visit with Superheroes

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On Saturday afternoon, September 9th, REPS presented a terrific program to launch the 2017-2018 REPS regular season.  The two  hour affair which centered on exploring the media origins of four featured superheroes – The Green Hornet, The Blue Beetle, Superman and Batman, was the brain child of Karl Frunz.  The event, as conceived by Karl,  was presented as a sort of Saturday Matinee of featured nostalgic entertainment, book-ended by stories of how the super hero first vaulted from a pulp fiction publication and onto the radio airwaves and the cinema screen.

At the outset of Karl’s presentation we were shown just how popular Superheroes are today.  Karl suggested that it was in fact the popularity of the superhero which was keeping modern Hollywood from going bankrupt.  Hollywood has made fourteen billion dollars off of just fifteen movies in the last five years.  That’s fifteen movies that have  featured people dressing up in latex suits , wearing capes, running around saving the world.  Beyond the movies, many current TV series are also featuring the exploits of one Superhero or another.  It’s a concept that hasn’t changed much since originally manifested in the pulp fiction days of the early 1930’s.  While younger audiences might believe that these current movies are the creation of modern movie producers, Karl maintains that there really is nothing new and in his presentation he attempts to create a time line by linking the modern superhero back to the beginning of the concept by spotlighting four characters created in the 1930’s who have been featured in more than one media.

The Green Hornet 

Karl decided to kick it off by exploring the origins of The Green Hornet because unlike other superheroes, The Hornet did not first appear in a comic book or pulp publication but was created specifically for radio (most likely in response to the rising popularity of the pulp fiction hero).  It was way back in 1936 when the Green Hornet premiered on WXYZ radio in Detroit.  The program was so popular that it was picked up and distributed by the Mutual Broadcasting System, a radio network of affiliated stations coast to coast.   Soon after,  Hollywood beckoned.  Universal figured that the listening public would flock to the movie theaters for the chance to see the radio hero in an action packed  feature.  At the time, Universal, Columbia and Republic were the three studios churning out movie serials.  Movie serials were an action packed motion picture, which were edited into chapters and exhibited in consecutive order at one theater, generally advancing weekly until the series was completed.  Each chapter generally ended with a cliff hanger in which the hero found himself in a perilous situation with little apparent chance of escape.  These cliff hangers were designed to bring the audience back to the theater week after week.   In 1940 Universal presented the Green Hornet as a 13 part movie serial starring Gordon Jones as Britt Reid aka  The Green Hornet.  On the original movie poster the serial was advertised  as “Radio drama more vivid on screen!” 

Faced with rising crime and increased racketeering activity, intrepid newspaper editor Britt Reid becomes the crime fighter the Green Hornet. Donning a disguise, the Hornet and his brilliant Korean inventor/sidekick Kato fight an infamous racket that’s menacing their city.

The first chapter of the 1940 Green Hornet movie serial was screened for the audience in attendance and ended as expected with the Green Hornet in dire peril.  Although the closing announcement at the end of the serial invited us to see “Thundering Terror, chapter two of The Green Hornet At this theater NEXT WEEK”   the REPS audience would not have that pleasure.  However, REPS may begin posting the subsequent chapters online in the near future.  The serial was typical of the action and plotting found in the standard  serial of the day.  This writer would have to agree with one reviewer who wrote, “In spite of its many-many flaws, its b-grade visual effects, its laughable dialogue, etc., etc., etc. – This vintage, b&w serial from 1940 (presented in 13 thrill-packed episodes) was still definitely about 10 times more entertaining and exciting to watch than was the likes of (that doofus) Seth Rogen’s disgustingly dismal and completely contemptible feature film adaptation of the Green Hornet character in 2011.”

More fondly remembered was the Green Hornet TV series which aired for one season on ABC TV in 1966 with Bruce Lee in the role of Kato.

The Blue Beetle

This superhero character is far less known than the other iconic heroes presented.  The Blue Beetle is the perfect example of a character who first premiered in a pulp publication.  Created by Charles Nicholas, The character was featured  in the comic book Mystery Men #1, published by Fox Features Syndicate in 1939.   The Blue Beetle radio program would spring into action over the airwaves in 1940 with little fanfare and only lasted for about four months.  Sources indicate that the series was carried over the CBS radio network but to this listener, recordings of the program suggest that the program was more likely a syndicated feature rather than a program originated over the CBS network. We’ll have to research further.   The Blue Beetle radio program was pretty faithful to the comic character and featured the exploits of Dan Garrett, a rookie patrolman who, by wearing bullet-proof blue chain mail, transformed himself into the mysterious Blue Beetle, a daring crusader for justice. The radio series was entertaining and had a different vibe than the standard radio program of the day which featured superheroes.  As Donald Motley wrote in his review “This is not one of your “fun” superhero shows. It’s deadly sober and serious with not a hint of irony or comic relief. It’s well written and acted, and there’s lots of violent action and sound-effects.”    For REPS Super Saturday, a full cast performed an episode of the Blue Beetle titled Death Rides on Horseback.  It was a thrill  presenting the radio drama live before an audience (featuring creative sound effects and Roger Kim providing live music).  I had never given much interest in listening to episodes of the Blue Beetle but this live radio performance truly piqued my interest.  It was truly enjoyable.  We only have audio of the radio re-creation  so for the video, REPS has added pictures, derived from comic book sources to create an an audio comic book feature.  The audio comic book is  fun and can be found at the  30:45 point in the video presentation How Superheroes Escaped Their Pages.

Initially, The Blue Beetle did not have a long run in radio or in comic books but he did return in the mid 1960’s in  comic book form and once again in 2008.  In 2008 a new publisher re-envisioned  the Blue Beetle with an entirely modern look for 2008 comic book readers.  Who knows that the future holds? Movies? Television?  Only time will tell.

Superman

Superman was introduced to the American public via comic book in 1938-39 feature in action comics.  The character became so popular that he was featured in his own comic book a few issues later.  Not long after, radio producers were wanting to adapt the comic book character as a daily series.   The series came to radio in 1940 over station WOR in New York city.  Similar to the Green Hornet,  the Superman radio program was picked up by the Mutual Broadcasting Network and broadcast coast to coast.  The radio series would run until 1951 when it gave way to the legendary television series starring George Reeves which ran from 1952-1958.   Prior to radio series going national, a gentleman named Max Fleischer produced a series of Superman cartoons released in technicolor by Paramount pictures.  The initial eight cartoons were released in 1941 and 1942.   The first cartoon in the series, simply titled Superman, a.k.a. The Mad Scientist, was released on September 26, 1941, and was nominated for the 1941 Academy Award for Best Short Subject: Cartoons. The voice of Superman for the cartoon series was initially provided by Bud Collyer, who also performed the lead character’s voice during the Superman radio series. Joan Alexander was the voice of Lois Lane, a role she also portrayed on radio alongside Collyer. Music for the series was composed by Sammy Timberg, the Fleischers’ long-time musical collaborator.  The Superman cartoons till this day are considered to be “beauty beyond compare” in terms of the way that they were done.  It was REPS pleasure to be able to screen one of these amazing animated features for the Saturday audience.

Superman has stayed a part of the American culture for many, many decades.   Launched as a comic book feature, he leaped onto the radio airwaves and into movie serials, television, cartoons and feature films.  What has he not done?

Batman

Batman first appeared in Detective Comics in May 1939.  This one appearance started a phenomenon.  Batman’s popularity would bring him to the radio airwaves in the 1940’s as a part of the Superman radio program.  He wouldn’t generally appear with Superman, the characters would rotate story-lines.  For a period ,from tine to time, the Man of Steel would break from the action and the story line would center around the exploits of the caped crusader, Batman.    In 2016 Superman and Batman would appear together in a big budget motion picture Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Many were ecstatic thinking that this was the first time the two had ever appeared together ( and maybe it was as far as appearing in a major motion picture).  However, the the two iconic characters famously  appeared together in the Saturday morning cartoon The Super Friends in the 1970’s and going back to the 1948 there was was one story line on the Superman radio series that brought the two characters together.  From March 10, 1948 thru April 1, 1948 Superman was forced to call on his friend, the famous Batman,  to aid him in The Mystery of the Stolen Costume.   Superman had just returned to Metropolis from his adventure in the Kingdom Under the Sea. He received a shock when he entered the apartment he occupied as reporter Clark Kent. Something so great had happened that the Man of Steel required the help of Bruce Wayne, alias Batman. The secret panel in which Superman kept his spare costume had been opened. Worse yet, the red and blue suit was missing.  Had someone discovered Superman’s greatest secret?  The REPS audience has the opportunity to sit back and tune in on a radio program from long ago as the REPS Radio Artists stepped to the microphone to present part one of The Mystery of the Stolen Costume.  

Batman, like Superman, has been an important part of American pop culture for all these decades since the character’s creation in the 1930’s as a feature in a comic book.  After first premiering as a comic book creation and appearing on radio, Batman was also adapted as a movie serial in 1943 which spawned a sequel in 1949.  Batman moved on to television in 1966 starring Adam West in the title role.  This television series is so iconic that you would be hard pressed to find someone who has not seen it.   The TV series lasted until 1968.  The character was brought back as a feature film starring Michael Keaton in the late 1980’s and subsequent Batman films have been released regularly ever since with various A-list actors in the role.  In 2014 a series titled Gotham premiered on FOX. Originally the series would have related only Commissioner Gordon’s early days on the Gotham City Police Department, but the series subsequently included the Wayne character and the origin stories of several Batman villains.    In May 2017, Fox renewed the series for a fourth season, which premiered on September 21, 2017.  It appears that Batman is going to be with us for some time to come. 

Summary 

Superheroes continue  to be featured in comic books and major motion pictures right up until this today.   These industries employ thousands of people and entertain millions.  Whether we are someone who does or does not like superheroes, we need  to understand their impact, popularity and influence on popular culture. In the next year alone, the major studios plan to release into theaters, seventeen movies based on superheroes.  On television, the upcoming season promises viewers seventeen returning programs and four new series based on superheroes.  From the 1930’s until today, superheroes remain with us and as popular as ever.

How Superheroes Escaped Their Pages
We have uploaded the September 9th presentation for your enjoyment.
The online presentation contains the following:
1.) Audio of Karl’s featured talk accompanied by Karl’s slide show presentation
2.) The complete and unedited first chapter of the 1940 Green Hornet movie serial released by Universal
3.) Live re-enactment  of a Blue Beetle radio program in an episode titled Death Rides on Horse Back first heard May 31, 1940
(Pictures from Blue Beetle comic books accompany the audio from the live performance basically creating an audio comic book).
4.) Fleischer Studios Superman cartoon The Mechanical Monsters first released November 28, 1941.
5.) The September 9th, 2017 Live radio performance of The Adventures of Superman “The Mystery of the Stolen Costume” first heard March 10th, 1948

WATCH NOW 

 
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THE GREEN HORNET: HIS ORIGIN AND REVIVAL

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The Green Hornet will be featured at the upcoming How Superheroes Escaped Their Pages where historian Karl Frunz will feature some origin information and REPS will screen the complete and unedited first chapter of the Green Hornet movie serial released by Universal in 1940.

THE GREEN HORNET: HIS ORIGIN AND POSSIBLE REVIVAL

by Martin Grams, Jr.

Back in the 1930s, 40s and 50s when radio programs ruled the airwaves, parents deplored them as unwholesome trash. I have to admit that some of them were pretty silly, but compared to recent television programs, they are about as violent as the puffed cereal they peddled. The Green Hornet, for example, felled his adversaries from a harmless gas squirted from a sort of gun that also made a nasty hornet-like buzz. It scared miscreants or knocked them out. Unlike Eliot Ness on television’s The Untouchables, the Hornet never killed or permanently injured anybody.

The Shadow (alias Lamont Cranston) possessed a secret weapon too: knowledge. He had the gift of clouding men’s minds and making himself invisible as he had learned the trick from Oriental Sages and he simply terrified crooks into submission. The original Shadow and the greatest was Orson Welles. During the two seasons Welles played the Shadow, he used the knowledge only to defend virtue and in repeated rescues of Margo Lane, his lovely fiend and companion.  (I have always assumed the word “companion” was probably as far as the radio producers could go without using the words “non-committed” relationship.)

Since the heyday of these heroes, American parents have changed their minds about them judging from the flood of enthusiastic old-time radio collectors who frequent to conventions held across the nation each year.  The November 14, 1951 issue of Variety magazine described The Green Hornet radio program . . . “series is aimed for young teeners and it dishes out the kind of excitement that should take them away from their comic book literature for the twice weekly tune-in.”

The concept was simple, centering on the exploits of Britt Reid, a newspaper publisher who assumes the guide of  The Green Hornet to uncover murderers, counterfeiters, saboteurs, etc. The action moved swiftly and through some deft scripting managed to sustain radio listeners interest for 16 years from (January 31, 1936 to December 5, 1952).

“Dad,” Britt Reid said to his father, Dan, “I know personally that the Green Hornet is no criminal. In his own way, he fights for law and order. Can you believe that?”

Old Dan Reid nodded his gray head slowly. “I think I can believe a lot more than that. I think I know what you are trying to tell me.”

The young publisher met the eyes of the man who had built the Daily Sentinel into one of America’s greatest newspapers. “Dad, I am the Green Hornet.”

“I suspected as much,” the elder Reid said.

“How could you? The world thinks I am nothing but an idle playboy, dabbling in the newspaper business.”

“Son, you’ve seen the painting on this wall many times. I gave it to you years ago.”

“Why yes, Dad, the picture of the Masked Man on the great white horse.”

“Everyone knows who he was,  he is a part of American history. But the world does not know that the Masked Man is your ancestor, Britt , my uncle, your great-uncle.”

“Then I’m carrying on in his tradition, bringing to justice those he would fight if he were here today.”

“Yes, Britt. He would be as proud of you as I am.”

Faintly, the William Tell Overture played through this scene on The Green Hornet . . . a radio broadcast so memorable for its significance that fans of the radio program regard this as one of the top ten episodes of the series. The Green Hornet was a descendant of The Lone Ranger. George W. Trendle created both programs. Set in a present-day city instead of the Wild West, Britt Reid also hid his identity behind a mask, and a colorful assumed name, striking fear into the heart of lawbreakers. But the radio program was not without its own problems.

Al Hodge, who played the part of Britt Reid from 1936 to 1943, stated on Richard Lamparski’s program, Whatever Became Of?, that Trendle could not copyright the name of  The Hornet without an adjective. Since green hornets are known to be the most liable to sting, Trendle added the word “green” to the program title and whola, the origin of the name.

When the program first went on the air in January of 1936, it began with the announcer saying: “The Green Hornet . . . He hunts the biggest of all game, public enemies even the G-men can’t catch!” Naturally, J. Edgar Hoover objected to this slur and the line was changed to “Public enemies who would destroy our America!”

The Green Hornet originated from station WXYZ in Detroit, and remained somewhat of a local program for the first few years on the air. Beginning with the broadcast of April 14, 1938, the Mutual Network premiered the crime-fighting program nationally on a coast-to-coast level and it was because of the Mutual broadcasts that the series quickly grew in popularity. The program influenced cultures across the nation and abroad. Fast municipal trouble shooting cars in one large city were called Green Hornets.  A southern railroad named a train  The Green Hornet. One of the U.S. Navy’s deadliest torpedo boats during the Second World War was named The Green Hornet. The sales of a milk company in Detroit, Michigan almost tripled after one year of sponsoring The Green Hornet.

The April 27, 1938 issue of Variety reviewed the first program broadcast coast-to-coast:

Coming out of the same studios, which created The Lone Ranger, it blends exciting plot with skillful production, deft writing and good all-around acting. It has sustained pace and ample imagination and about the only place that it can be better itself is in the sketching of the central character, one deriving from the vigilante school of radio drama, a la The Shadow. In this case the vigilante, or the frustrator of skullduggery, is a newspaper editor. As the writer has him now molded, this Sir Galahad is a little too vague as to characterization or personality. He needs more behavioristic buildup and a quality of mannerism of voice that will cause the listener to associate him quickly with the role.

The Variety review continued:

Thriller caught Thursday concerned a menace who made a business of killing off for their insurance money group of men that he had just hired to work for him in South and Central America. Everything in the way of plot development, dramatic punch and character relationship was kept well within bounds.

The Green Hornet also spawned four series of comic books. Issues 1 through 6 were made available from December 1940 to August 1941, published by Holyoke Comics. Issues 7 through 47 were made available from June 1942 to September 1949, published by Harvey Family Comics. (The character of The Green Hornet also appeared in two issues of Harvey’s All New comics in 1946 and 1947.) The third series was a single issue, Dell Publications, issue #496 in 1953. The fourth and last series of comic books was Gold Key’s three issues from November 1966 to August 1967. Unlike the other comics, the three Gold Key issues were based on the television series, not the radio series.

The Green Hornet sparked a revival in the mid-1960s, when Charles Michelson began purchasing the rights for radio properties such as Gang Busters, The Shadow, The Clock and The Green Hornet, among others. He began syndicating the rebroadcasts and radio stations loved the idea of bringing back the Golden Age of Radio. According to reviewer Charles Osborne in the August 14, 1964 issue of Lifemagazine:  Now I can stop pitying today’s youngsters. No fewer than 110 radio stations across the U.S. as though responding to some subliminal summons have independently bought and revived The Green Hornet. These are not pallid remakes but vintage programs recorded from original broadcasts. At the same time, a new fan magazine, Radiohero, has appeared in Los Angeles, filled with fondly retrospective articles and news of the revival.

In 1995, a Chinese movie entitled The Green Hornet was released abroad. Though never released in the U.S. commercially, the martial arts flick is presently available on the black market from video and DVD dealers (though the producers of the film merely paid for the rights to use the name of the characters, very little resembles the Green Hornet we grew up with).

Alas in 2011, Hollywood released The Green Hornet as a major theatrical motion picture starring Seth Rogan.  The film was released to theaters in North America on January 14, 2011 by Columbia Pictures, in versions including RealD Cinema and IMAX 3D. The film earned $227.8 million on a $120 million budget. The Green Hornet was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D on May 3, 2011 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Martin Grams, Jr. is the author and co-author of a dozen books about old-time radio and old-time television including The I Love A Mystery Companion and GANG BUSTERS: The Crime Fighters of American Broadcasting. This article is a reprint from the June 2004 REPS Convention Program Guide and reprinted with permission.

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SUPERHEROES ARRIVE SEPTEMBER 9TH

 

When Karl Frunz first unveiled his idea for a “Super Saturday” program exploring the origins and media debut of four iconic superheroes, we knew immediately that the making of a special program was being created.  Karl, you see, is a great presenter and everyone listening knew that the stories he would  feature would be both intriguing and entertaining.  However, Karl was not finished conveying his idea and he went on to clarify  “I don’t envision a two hour lecture” he said “but rather two  hours of nostalgic entertainment book-ended by stories of how the featured super hero first vaulted from a pulp fiction publication and onto the radio airwaves and the cinema screen.”   The basic program ,as Karl conceived it,  would be along the lines of a Saturday Matinee (like those of  by gone days) featuring a chapter from a classic movie serial and most certainly live performances of programs from 1940’s radio. As the program developed, four superheroes were selected to be featured –  The Green Hornet, The Blue Beetle, Superman and Batman.   As Karl focused on compiling interesting tidbits about each of the heroes, he turned to Roger Kim to produce two live radio performances as part of the day’s attraction.   Roger selected the programs but scripts of the original radio shows could not be obtained.  To proceed, someone would need to transcribe scripts from the original recordings.  This was ultimately done by Roger himself and dependable volunteer , Randy Clawson.  Once the transcribing was completed and with scripts in hand, Roger then proceeded to assemble the actors, a sound effects team, and  a keyboardist to play the musical bridges (an essential part of radio adventure serials).   The preparations and planning continue with the rehearsals scheduled.  This crack team of radio enthusiasts have just a few weeks until the big day when they step before the live microphones on the REPS sound stage as two pulp heroes will once again vault from their publications and on to the radio airwaves as REPS presents The Blue Beetle and the Adventures of Superman!

The Blue Beetle was a 1940 series on CBS Radio and based on the popular DC Comics character.   Between May 15 and September 13, 1940, Blue Beetle aired.  Just as in the comics, Blue Beetle was a young police officer who saw the need for extraordinary crime fighting. He took the task on himself by secretly donning a superhero costume to create fear in criminals.   The 13-minute segments were usually told in two-part episodes.   On September 9th, Roger and his team will present part one and part two of a selected story so that those in the audience can experience the adventure  from start to finish.

The Adventures of Superman had a long life as a popular radio serial  originally airing from 1940 to 1951.

Up in the sky! Look!
It’s a bird!
It’s a plane!
It’s Superman!

Professional stage and voice actors will lend their talents to  to bring the magic of radio back to the Pacific Northwest.  Featured in the cast will be Dean Moody, Nick Wrycha, Bryan Hendrickson, David Persson, Randy Clawson, and Elly Muller.

HOW SUPERHEROES ESCAPED THEIR PAGES!

 FREE ADMISSION

A Super good time! Through Film, Animation and Live radio Theater (featuring Live Sound Effects  and music )  an adventure awaits you as you experience how superheroes first vaulted from their pulp fiction publications and onto radio airwaves and the cinema screen.

Historian, Karl Frunz will explore the origins and media debut of TheGreen Hornet, The Blue Beetle, Superman and Batman.

Featured Attractions:

  • First Chapter of an Exciting  Green Hornet Movie Serial
    Newspaper publisher Britt Reid, secretly The Green Hornet, and his Korean valet Kato investigate and expose several seemingly separate rackets. This leads them into continued conflict with the Chief, the criminal mastermind behind the Syndicate and the individual crimes.
  • Live Radio Performance of a thrilling Blue Beetle adventure
  • Vintage Superman Cartoon adventure
    The Fleischer Superman cartoons are a series of animated short films released in Technicolor by Paramount Pictures in 1941 and making them his first animated appearance.
  • Live Radio Performance of the Radio Adventures of Superman featuring an appearance by Batman

Saturday, Sept 9th 2-4 pm
5515 Phinney Ave N Seattle
St. John United Lutheran Church

BATMAN APPEARS ON SUPERMAN RADIO SERIES IN UPCOMING REPS PROGRAM 

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Saturday With Pat O’Day – JUNE 3rd

On Saturday , June 3rd 2017 , Pacific Northwest Legend Pat O’Day dropped by the Radio Enthusiasts of Puget Sound for an afternoon  conversation sharing fascinating stores of his life in radio and concert promotion.   Pat is well known from his days as the popular 1960’s afternoon DJ on KJR.  He would eventually become program director and general manager.  In 1964 and 1965, the national radio industry acknowledged his power, voting him top Program Director. In 1966, O’Day was voted “Radioman of the Year” and was also honored (along with a select few other iconic radio men) with his own volume of the popular Crusin’ LP series that featured his powerhouse patter wedged between compiled period hits. As Seattle’s highest-profile DJ of the 1960s and the region’s dominant dance promoter, Pat O’Day ran Northwest rock ‘n’ roll for nearly a decade. He is responsible for bringing the Seattle music scene to national prominence.

O’Day’s name became synonymous with KJR, the station he ran for a decade and built into an empire. To really understand his impact you’d have to consider the power of that station back then — it was not uncommon for KJR to boast of a 37 percent rating, an unheard of dominance by a radio station. Today that rating would be more than the market share of the top seven local stations (KMPS, KUBE, KVI, KIRO, KBSG, KRWM, and KWJZ) combined!

Teen dance club business in Oregon and Washington States

Beginning in 1956 at the Astoria, Oregon National Guard Armory, Pat’s teen dance clubs (admitting only teens aged 15–20, and providing security) started out as, “Pat O’Day Dances.” The following year it moved to the Kelso, Washington, National Guard Armory, then expanded to Bremerton, Tacoma, Lynnwood, and then to Bellevue (Lake Hills Roller Rink).  Eventually teen dance clubs were also established in Olympia, Mount Vernon, Burlington, Westport, Tri-Cities, Yakima, and the north Seattle dance club “The Bummer”.

The flagship dance club was known as the Spanish Castle (located near the intersection of old Highway 99, now Interstate Highway S, and Kent-Des Moines Road, in Sea-Tac, Washington), and operated from 1959 until its closing in 1964 .  Famous artists who performed there include; Jan & Dean, the Venture’s, Larry Coryell & The Dynamics, Merrilee Rush, Paul Revere & The Raiders, the Kingsmen, the Beach Boys, the Sonics, the Wailers, Conway Twitty, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Jimi Hendrix.

In 1968, the dance club business was sold to Lester Smith and Danny Kaye along with local businessman, Mack Keith

Pat O’Day & Associates and Concerts West

O’Day is the founder of what started out as Pat O’Day & Associates (POA), with Dick Curtis and Terry Bassett as principals.  In 1967, after opening a new regional operation in Dallas, Texas, POA changes the name to Concerts West (CW), becoming the largest concert company in the world, at that time.

Concerts West client roster of touring musicians/groups, mentioned in O’Day’s autobiography, included many well-known artists and bands of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s (here, most famous listed alphabetically); the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Bachman-Turner-Overdrive, Bad Company, Bob Dylan, Bread, the Byrds, Canned Heat, Cat Stevens, Chicago, Country Joe & The Fish, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Donovan, the Doors, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Glen Campbell, Grand Funk Railroad, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, John Denver, Led Zeppelin, Linda Ronstadt, Moody Blues, Neil Diamond, Paul McCartney & Wings, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Steppenwolf, Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, The Doobie Brothers, The Eagles, The Mamas and the Papas, The Monkees, Paul Anka, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Three Dog Night.

Listen to the conversation with Pat O’Day from Saturday June 3rd, 2017

Audio may take a few moments to play

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Zany Marx brothers humor followed by a conversation with Groucho’s grandson, Steve Marx.

Did you remember to Marx your calendar for March 11th and join REPS for an afternoon of zany Marx Brothers humor followed by a special visit with Steve Marx (Groucho’s grandson)?

You can hear the interview below.

We opened the program with a performance of Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel courtesy of BBC Radio 4.   In 1990 BBC Radio 4 adapted the 1932 American radio show , first broadcast by NBC , for listeners in the U.K.  The original series starred two of the Marx Brothers, Groucho and Chico, and depicted the misadventures of attorney, Waldorf T. Flywheel (Groucho) and his assistant Emmanuel Ravelli (Chico).  You can read more about the original 1932 series here.  

In this writer’s opinion, the 1990 BBC radio adaption captured the original zaniness and smacked listeners with nothing but fun.  The eighteen episodes in the BBC radio series were produced with a touch of quality and may very well have been the first introduction of Marx brothers humor to younger listeners.    We trust that many became hooked and afterwards went in search of  Marx Brothers movies.     The first episode of the BBC series was titled The Stolen Rembrandt and the action centers on Flywheel and Ravelli being hired to guard a priceless painting  and then later having to investigate when the painting is discovered to have been stolen.   Marx fans will recognize that many comedic moments in the episode are borrowed from the movie Animal Crackers.

Cast:
Larry Albert as Groucho Marx (aka Waldorf T. Flywheel)
Tom Stewart as Chico Marx (aka Emmanuel Ravelli)
Special Appearance by Taryn Darr as Miss Dimple
Monica Chilton as Mrs Thorndyke
David Persson as Meadows
Live Sound Effects by Frank Rosin
Technical Support by Jim Dolan

Join us for 30 minutes of zany Marx brothers humor in this episode of Flywheel Shyster Flywheel titled The Stolen Rembrandt.
Audio may take a few moments to play

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

A Conversation with Steven Marx

60 minute Audio –  may take a few moments to play

Following the performance, we were joined by Steve Marx (Groucho’s grandson) who shared his personal memories of growing up in the family of the legendary comedian.

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GROUCHO’S GRANDSON IN PERSON TO REMEMBER COMEDY LEGEND – MARCH 11

 We will salute the comedy legend at the March 11th REPS program.  Steve Marx, Groucho’s grandson, joins us live and in person to share stories of the life and career of the one and only . . . . Groucho!

But first, we will dust off an old Marx Brothers radio script from the early 1930s  and open the program with a performance of Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel.

Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel was a 1932 NBC radio show starring two of the Marx Brothers, Groucho and Chico. The program depicted the misadventures of a small law firm, with Groucho as attorney Waldorf T. Flywheel and Chico as Flywheel’s assistant, Emmanuel Ravelli. The series was originally titled Beagle, Shyster, and Beagle, with Groucho’s character named Waldorf T. Beagle, until a lawyer from New York named Beagle contacted NBC and threatened to file a lawsuit unless the name was dropped. Many of the episodes’ plots were drawn from Marx Brother’s films.  The program aired Monday nights at 7:30 p.m. on the NBC Blue Network to thirteen network affiliates in nine Eastern and Southern states. Twenty-six episodes were made, which were broadcast between November 28, 1932 and May 22, 1933. Each episode was introduced by the Blue Network announcer and featured about fifteen minutes of drama and ten minutes of orchestral music between acts. For years no recordings of the show were known to exist, however, a number of years back, three recordings of Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel were found , including a five-minute excerpt of Episode 24 , a fifteen-minute recording of Episode 25 and a complete recording of Episode 26.    In 1988 scripts for 25 of the 26 episodes were found at the Library of Congress and published in a book.   In 1990 the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio 4  aired a version of Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel. The original scripts were adapted by the BBC for a modern British audience.  Each episode incorporated material from two or three different original episodes, and occasionally included additional jokes from Marx Brothers’ films.  The BBC radio adaption proved popular with audiences in the U.K. and many episodes were released commercially and are available for listening today.   On Saturday, March 11th, the REPS Radio Artists will perform one of the hilarious episodes of Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel on the REPS Radio Sound stage and you could be a part of the live studio audience.   Admission is free.

Join us for 30 minutes of zany Marx brothers humor followed by a conversation with Groucho’s grandson, Steve Marx.

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The Old Time Radio Quiz Program

Come on down! You’re the next contestant on  – The Old Time Radio Quiz Program!

Mark your calendars: Saturday, January  7th at 2pm.  

ENTERTAINING AND “Hi-LARRY-ous” AFTERNOON with master of ceremonies, Larry Albert.

               ***WIN PRIZES***    ***WIN PRIZES***     ***WIN PRIZES***

We’ll have the usual two panels of experts who will compete in a game of knowledge to determine who can score the most points but did we mention that we have expanded on the games created last year to focus on audience participation?

Yes, the old time radio quiz show will be fun for all and you do not have to be an expert to win!

Saturday, January 7th, 2pm
ST. JOHN UNITED LUTHERAN CHURCH
5515 Phinney Avenue North Seattle, WA 98103
Across the street from the Woodland Park Zoo.

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2016 REPS HOLIDAY PARTY – SAT DEC 3rd

Mark your calendars for December 3rd as you will not want to miss the REPS Holiday party.

Holiday Potluck at 1 pm

One wonderful afternoon beginning with a Holiday Potluck ( bring a dish to share and if you need ideas on what to bring , we can provide a little assistance ).  Also consider bringing an unwrapped gift for Toys for Tots ).

It’s A Wonderful Life – Live Radio Performance 2:15 pm 

YouTube

Followed by a performance of the classic holiday film featuring all of your favorite characters.   A Captivating and heartwarming story featuring all of your favorite characters from the film returning through the magic of radio with live and imaginative sound effects.  The captivating story of one man, who in order to help others, gives up his own dreams and whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence.  Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would be had he never been born.

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
United St. John Lutheran Church
5515 Phinney Avenue North, Seattle, WA

Listen to It’s a Wonderful Life (radio adaption performed live)

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