Thrilling radio drama to be performed at Quick Center

What do undercover agents in Nazi territory, a Beaver Cleaver-like child hero and thousands of hungry rats have in common? They'll all be on hand Saturday, Nov. 23, when Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts presents "High Adventure on the Radio," the first of three radio dramas scheduled for the 2002-03 season. The live drama will be performed at 3 and 8 p.m.

"High Adventure on the Radio" is based on three radio shows that aired nationwide in the first half of the 20th century. The first installment, "The Black Box" from the series "Cloak and Dagger," revolves around harrowing true stories from the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, which later became the Central Intelligence Agency. In this episode, an undercover agent is dropped behind Nazi lines to broadcast German-language propaganda to make invading certain German cities and hamlets easier for the troops.

The second drama is an episode from the beloved "Jack Armstrong, The All-American Boy." The classic children's show aired in 15-minute installments and was one of the first shows to use premiums as a way to get listeners to buy products, said Smith. Little Jack was a fan of Wheaties and listeners mailing in box tops for prizes helped turn General Mills from a small concern into a huge corporation.

In this installment, Jack and his friends Billy, Betty and Captain Fairfield, "a scientist in a cape," journey to South America for some mayhem in Mayan territory. Jack Armstrong plots often lasted months and Smith said modern listeners should get a chuckle out of the meandering storyline and ridiculously unbelievable characters.

"Shows like this make 'Leave It to Beaver' look really sophisticated," Smith said.

The third radio play is from a program called "Escape," which is just what its characters had to do in each episode. The episode that will close the evening involves a hair-raising tale of three men trapped in a lighthouse. A ship filled with ravenous rats crashes on the rocks outside and the rodents turn their attention to the lighthouse and what might dwell inside. As the harrowing adventure goes on the men have to climb higher and higher in the lighthouse to avoid being eaten alive.

The cast for the evening includes: Gary Cavello and John Watson of New Haven; Josiah Rowe of Chesire; Cindy Haynes of Fairfield; Tess Link of Westport; Carmen Rivera of Milford; and Hank Stohl of Stratford. Stratford resident Ted Powell will provide the sound effects and a quartet of woodwinds will play original music that Smith based on the original orchestral score.

The production, complete with vintage commercials, is the first in a series of three radio dramas at the Quick Center.

Tickets are $10. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396 or visit the website,

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647,

Posted on October 11, 2002

Vol. 35, No. 90

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