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"The Maltese Falcon" Radio Drama Launches Play Troupe Season Celebrating the Golden Era of Radio

L to R: Brian E. Long plays the detective Sam Spade, Anne DeAcetis plays the femme fatale Brigid Shaughnessy, and Ken Young plays the sinister Joel Cairo in “The Maltese Falcon.
L to R: Brian E. Long plays the detective Sam Spade, Anne DeAcetis plays the femme fatale Brigid Shaughnessy, and Ken Young plays the sinister Joel Cairo in “The Maltese Falcon.
Port Washington Play Troupe announces a season of performances celebrating the golden era of radio—when on-air dramas and the Great American Songbook ruled the airways. This spring, they’ll revive radio drama in collaboration with LIU Post’s community public radio station WCWP (88.1FM). And in July, they’ll present the period musical The 1940s Radio Hour at the Landmark on Main Street.

From March-May 2014, WCWP and Play Troupe will produce a three-part series of radio dramas, with songs from the period, in front of live studio audiences at LIU Post’s Hillwood Recital Hall (at the Tilles Center at LIU Post), 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville, NY 11548.

The first radio play, broadcasting at 2pm on Friday, March 14th, will be The Maltese Falcon, featuring the original radio script from 1943 with the addition of songs like “Sentimental Journey,” “You Made Me Love You” and “I’ll Never Smile Again.” Based on the acclaimed novel by Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon chronicles the adventures of private detective Sam Spade as he becomes embroiled with a group of eccentric criminals—including a dangerous, dishonest beauty—on a quest to claim a priceless statuette.

A radio drama presentation of The Thin Man will follow on April 25, with a final drama (to be announced) on May 23.

July 18-20 and 25-27 at the Landmark on Main Street, Play Troupe will present The 1940s Radio Hour, a musical that combines the decade’s most popular songs (including “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “That Old Black Magic,” and “I’ll Be Seeing You”) with the behind-the-scenes antics at a small, run-down radio station with no shortage of colorful characters.

2014 marks an important 100-year anniversary in local radio history. In 1914, at the dawn of World War I, Allied ships severed Germany’s trans-Atlantic cables, cutting off communications beyond Europe. For three years, the Germans did their best to fill the gap by broadcasting from a station they’d installed in Sayville, Long Island. The US eventually seized this station in 1917 upon joining the war, and America’s radio dominance then spread around the world.

Per Play Troupe President Pam Meadows, serendipity brought the season together. “We were considering The 1940s Radio Hour for next summer when we learned about the anniversary,” she said. “And when the wonderful Director of Broadcasting and Station Manager for WCWP, Dan Cox, called up and invited us to put on some vintage radio dramas, we knew it was fate.”

$10 studio audience tickets for The Maltese Falcon and the dramas to follow will be available through both wcwp.org and portwashingtonplaytroupe.com. Visit portwashingtonplaytroupe.com for more information.

Direct link to ticket sales: http://wcwpmaltesefalcon.bpt.me/

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