WYNOT Radio Theatre's "The Short Hello"
When: Opens Thursday, Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Dec. 1
Where: Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St.
Tickets: $20; 634-5583, csfineartscenter.org
The days of hunkering around the radio to catch the latest episode of a private-eye show might be long gone, but WYNOT Radio Theatre offers another option: Old-time radio parodied on stage. WYNOT's new production, "The Short Hello," is part of the Second Stage series at the Fine Arts Center.
During performances, four actors and a sound technician who plays a few characters perch behind vintage-looking stand-up microphones. Out of sight: more than 200 props. Each of the actors play more than one character and less than 20, totaling more than 90 characters in work.
"It's a ridiculous physical comedy on stage," co-founder Cory Moosman says. "We use the radio show as the set that we're spoofing, but it's definitely not old-time radio. People need to take any idea of old-time radio and throw it out of their brain. If you like Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Steve Martin, crazy physical comedy - that's what we are, and there's nothing serious about what we do."
In the new "episode," WYNOT's fifth, private detective Rick Luger heads off on vacation and finds himself in the middle of a mystery. The 1940s-style script sends up old noir movies like "Casablanca" and "Key Largo" - some of Moosman's favorites, he says.
"I love the pulp noir genre. I've been drawn to it since I was a kid," he says. "There's something about the larger-than-life characters, and that the stakes are so ridiculously high and the anti-heroes that smoke and drink like it's going out of style. It's so gritty and ridiculous at the same time. The lines and dialogue - there's a cadence to it. It's so fun to poke fun at. It's spoofing two genres: Noir and that vintage Golden Era radio stuff."
Jennifer Mulson, email@example.com, 636-0270