Radio Dramas kicks off new season at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts with Private Eye Mysteries


 

Image: Radio dramaPrivate eyes have captivated audiences for as long as anyone can remember. They are tough talking and wisecracking, impervious to danger and sometimes - they are women. "Radio Dramas," the Quick Center for the Arts' long-running series of vintage radio programs, kicks off another season at Fairfield University with among other programs, "Candy Matson," known in the trade as a "Private Eyelash," and the hardboiled detective, Philip Marlowe, on Friday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. at the Wien Experimental Theatre. For those who can't make the opening, there will be two more performances on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 3 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. This presentation is part of the Arts & Minds season.

Director Daniel Smith (New Haven) has assembled a string quartet and will join in the live music on the organ. The company of actors includes, New Haven residents Tom Zingarelli, Michael Sayers and Rob Rocke, Gary Cavello (West Haven), Katie Sparer and Geoffrey Gilbert (Stratford) and Joe Mango (Beacon Falls). There will also be the obligatory live sound effects that create a mood of impending danger.

Candy, played by Monroe resident Brianna Bresky, answers her Telegraph Hill phone invitingly, "Candy Matson, Yukon 2-8209" and the organ swells into the theme song, "Candy." This lesser-known vintage radio series was first broadcast from San Francisco's KGO-KPO studio in the late forties and was created, written, produced and directed by Monty Masters for his talented wife, Natalie Parks. Candy is smart and sassy and has a quick comeback that can be a knockout, but she is just as adept at using her soft and sweet side as a powerful weapon - when it suits her.

One of Candy's more famous and memorable male counterparts, Philip Marlowe - played by Humphrey Bogart on the big screen and Dick Powell, among others, on radio - wrests himself off the pages of Raymond Chandler's brilliant novels in "The Adventures of Philip Marlowe" and virtually seizes the audience and shakes it by the lapels. He is the ultimate gritty, brash, tough-guy that tells the audience, from the get-go who's boss, "Get this and get it straight! Crime is a sucker's road and those who travel it end up in the gutter, the prison, or the grave!"

Intrigue takes over with "The Third Man - The Lives of Harry Lime" made legendary by Orson Welles as the seedy underworld figure. Each program begins with the famous zither music and the gunshot introduction, "That was the shot that killed Harry Lime. He died in a sewer beneath Vienna…Yes, that was the end of Harry Lime, but it was not the beginning. Harry Lime had many lives and I can recount all of them. How do I know? Very simple ... because my name is Harry Lime."

One of the more intriguing challenges of vintage radio programming is how much can be packed into each timeslot - usually a thirty-minute or a fifteen-minute program. With "Ellery Queen Minute Mysteries," they broke the mold and they deliver the goods in exactly one minute.

Rounding out the evening is the radio show inspired by that famous comic-strip character, Little Orphan Annie. The red-haired, Ovaltine-pushing mite-sized waif and her dog Sandy lacked detective licenses, but they did enough snooping and investigating to bring more thieves, gangsters and pirates to justice than almost any legit private eye.

Tickets are available online at fairfield.edu/quick or by calling the Box Office at (203) 254-4010. The toll free number is 1-877-ARTS-396. Special offers and discounts are available through the Quick Center's e-mail list. Join, by contacting boxoffice@quickcenter.com. And become a fan of the Quick Center for the Arts on Facebook! Keep up-to-date with the latest performance news, plus special offers and discounts! Find the Quick Center at www.facebook.com/FairfieldQuickCenter .

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on August 30, 2010

Vol. 43, No. 28