On November 14, 15, and 16, 2014, the Society to Preserve & Encourage Radio Drama, Variety And Comedy (SPERDVAC) will celebrate its 40th Anniversary with a wonderful Old Time Radio Convention to be held at the Holiday Inn Burbank-Media Center in Burbank, CA.
I have once again been asked to direct one of the old time radio re-creations and I decided to do something personal: the very first episode of “The Shadow” that I ever heard called “Death Stalks the Shadow” from 1938. I remember buying the record on the basis of my mother’s recommendation. It had been one of her favorite shows growing up. I was around 13 or 14 when I played the record album for the first time. I loved it! And so, I will return to my own personal Old Time Radio roots and do this show.
If you are in town and can make it, I’d love to see you there! “The Shadow” is scheduled for Friday November 14 at 4pm at the Holiday Inn Burbank-Media Center, 150 E. Angeleno Ave., Burbank, CA 91502. “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men…?” Come find out!
Also of note: SPERDVAC has just launched a Kickstarter campaign hoping to offset some of the convention costs.
You can check it out here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1212872639/classic-radio-performances-live-on-stage
I am so happy to share that I have returned to production on my feature film documentary currently titled “Radio Changed America” (I say currently titled, because these things are almost certain to change; the original title was “OTR” — meaning simply Old Time Radio).
Last weekend my intrepid crew went to the home of actress Marsha Hunt to talk to her about her days in radio, her work with Norman Corwin, and the terrible period of the Blacklist when Marsha’s acting career was ended. Marsha was one of the stars in MGM’s heaven in the 1940s. She c0-starred with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson in “Pride and Prejudice” among many other films (and when I say “many others” I mean over 60!). Marsha talked candidly about her blacklisting and the shocking effect it had on the broadcast and motion picture industry. This is a small, but extremely important part of the film and Marsha is the last remaining person from the famous October 1947 flight of movie stars, writers, and artists, (including Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Danny Kaye, John Huston, and Ira Gershwin) who journeyed to Washington DC to publicly protest the House Un-American Activities Committee’s witch hunt. Marsha was there and she tells that part of the story first-hand. For me as a documentary filmmaker, this is pure gold. Marsha turns 97 next month. She remains lovely, gracious, and very much alive with hope for our future and activity engaged in the present. As you can tell, I was (and am) very impressed by her.
And what did she do after her acting career ended? Only devote the next 25 years to the many programs of the United Nations, establish charities, and work toward a better world. In fact, she is the subject of an upcoming documentary that tells it all: “Marsha Hunt’s Sweet Adversity” from filmmaker Roger C. Memos. I very much look forward to seeing her story told properly!