Complete with an announcer, narrator, two Foley artists, an organist and a dancing can of Red Bull, this group could have just as easily placed a radio on stage, allowed the audience to close their eyes and we would have been just as entertained. The narrator spewed his Walter Winchell-like patter, and the organ aptly punctuated each name and key point, and it was clear to see what a group could do when they not only studied the style they were performing, but took the time to fall in love with it.
At the top they handed out blank scripts to the cast, who were impeccably dressed in 1940’s garb, and they proceeded to tell a smartly idiotic science-fiction story called “I Lost my Robot.” The most endearing element of the entire program was the very honest harkening back to a time when politically correctness had no place on our airwaves. The misogynistic undertones of the story, and even the anti-American Indian nature of the Ovaltine commercial, forced the audience to recognize themselves in what was called a simpler time.
The story was mostly clever. I say only mostly because it rang so real to anyone who has heard or read any of these pre-television serials, that it might have well been scripted to elicit the same effect. The proof was in the well-researched details: the anti-Nazi subplot, the snood worn as part of script girl’s costume, and even the indifferent discarding of already read pages onto the floor.
The thirteen players that packed the tiny stage were obviously having fun with the format and each other. Gratefully they translated that fun to the audience and propelled us, if just for forty-five minutes, back in time. Yowsah, yowsah, yowsah, and au revoir children. God bless you and pleasant dreams.
Review by Jeff Catanese