Friday, November 15, 2013

Radio theater returns to Bradenton airwaves

   Radio theater is largely a relic of decades past, but it has seen a tiny bit of a resurgence in recent years.
   Some intriguing plays are coming to local airwaves in the coming days. It's an interesting (and free) way to experience theater and it's worth a listen.

  At 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, WUSF (89.7 FM) is airing "Holy Matter," a new one-hour play by Tampa playwright Denis Calandra. It's a mystery based around John F. Kennedy's visit to Tampa 50 years ago, days before his death, and a fictional Tampa mob family.
   Calandra is the authorized translator of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's plays. He wrote the acclaimed play "Cuban Bread" about Tampa's cigar workers and co-wrote an adaptation of Carl Hiassen's "Lucky You" that got great reviews in London and Edinburgh.
   At 7 p.m. Monday, Nov, 18, WMNF (88.5 FM) and St. Petersburg's Studio@620 kick off the fifth season of their "Radio Theatre Project" with an installment of “The Continuing Adventures of Noel Berlin, Cabaret Detective” by Paul Wilborn and Matt Cowley and “The Last Radio Drama” by Ludy Marvin Wilkie, directed by area theater stalwart Jim Wicker.
   "The Last Radio Drama" is about actors in a 1950s radio soap opera who face the cancellation of their show as radio loses audience to television.
   "Noel Berlin" is in its second season and features old-fashioned cliff-hanger episodes set in St Petersburg with cabaret music and stunning sound effects. 
   You can see the WMNF plays as they're performed by going to the Studio@620, at 620 First Ave. S. in St. Petersburg. It's a pay-what-you-can arrangement.
   Go to for more information about the WMNF series.

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