(Above photo by Scott Kelley: Radio Redux actor Sandy Silverthorne creates a character for one of the company’s productions; the troupe, under the direction of founder Fred Crafts, opens its 2017-18 season on Sept. 22.)
By Randi Bjornstad
“The Philadelphia Story” has been a classic since its stage debut in 1939 featuring Katharine Hepburn and the movie version in 1940, starring Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart and Cary Grant.
Two years later, CBS Radio’s Victory Theater produced its own over-the-airwaves production of the popular play, and that’s the version that Fred Crafts has used to create his Radio Redux season premiere, which will be onstage in the Soreng Theater at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 22-24.
It’s Radio Redux’s ninth season, and in addition to “The Philadelphia Story,” Crafts’ troupe also has four more shows waiting in the wings:
- “Scrap Collection,” an episode of Fibber McGee and Molly, and “Rory Malone,” from the Pat Novak, For Hire series, on Nov. 3-5
- “The Shop Around the Corner” and a Sherlock Holmes gambit, “The Adventure of the Three Ghosts,” on Dec. 8-10
- “Stage Door,” a Lux Radio Theatre production adapted from the 1937 film that starred Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers and an ingenue named Lucille Ball
- “The Gibbering Things,” an episode of The Shadow and “My Client Curley” a Columbia Workshop production
In “The Philadelphia Story,” socialite Tracy Lord is about to marry wealthy fellow-upper-cruster George Kittredge, when her ex-husband, C.K. Dexter Haven, shows up on the scene, along with scandal sheet reporter Macaulay Connor and photographer Liz Embrie.
All this throws Tracy’s emotions into turmoil — whom does she really love, after all — and she turns to her father, mother, uncle and little sister to help her figure it out, with predictably widely varying advice.
Radio Redux’s Kim Donahey plays Tracy, with
Dan Pegoda as George, Bill Hulings as the ex-husband, and Peter Van de Graaff and Judi Weinkauf as the reporter and photographer.
Don Aday and Diana Aday play the elder Lords, Seth and Margaret, with Achilles Massahos as Uncle Willie and Jane Brinkley as sister Dinah.
As often happens, the show is punctuated with musical interludes and commercials by Jennifer Sellers, Judy Sinnott, Debi Noel and Jim Greenwood, singing as The Jewel Tones.
Greenwood also joins Al Villanueva handling sound effects.
The Philadelphia Story
When: 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 22-23; and 2 p.m. on Sept. 24
Where: Soreng Theater at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, Seventh Avenue and Willamette Street in downtown Eugene
Admission: $22 regular, $19 senior citizens, $15 students (season tickets also available), at the Hult Center box office, 541-682-5000, or online at radioreduxusa.com/ or hultcenter.org/