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Classic Radio Road Show offers radio plays on website

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Classic Radio Road Show is now offering radio plays on its new website, www.classicradioroadshow.org

On Nov. 14, the group will premiere its production of “Roadside,” which is based on a 1930 play by Lynn Riggs, according to a press release.

In 1931, Riggs presented “Green Grow the Lilacs,” which Rodgers and Hammerstein turned into “Oklahoma!”

“Roadside” is an imaginative and humorous play dealing with a girl in a covered wagon who falls in love with a tall-talking, hell-shooting man of the west. The result is hilarious conflict between these free spirits and the forces of “law and order,” according to the press release.

The unique art form includes the comedies, dramas, mysteries and soap operas that filled the radio airwaves in the first half of the 20th century. The presentation of the works kept radio audiences as thrilled and involved as television programs do today, according to Classic Radio Road Show.

The plays that are selected are designed to make people laugh, think and feel through their ears.

Classic Radio Road Show’s mission is to present, educate and preserve this art form from the glory days of radio, according to the press release. Currently playing on the website is the group’s version of an “Our Miss Brooks” episode.

“You are invited to close your eyes and exercise your imagination. The sound effects that are created help to form a mental picture of the story. There is a magic in these radio plays and it is called ‘theater of the mind,’ ” Artistic Director Duane Noch said.

Classic Radio Road Show has produced more than 40 radio plays in the past four years. The group initially staged live readings of radio plays at locations around central New Jersey, including the Two River Theater, the Middletown Arts Center, retirement communities and churches, according to the press release.

However, because of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, the productions have been switched to Zoom presentations and are now being produced in a recording studio.

The presentations are free, although patrons are encouraged to make a tax deductible donation following the performance.

“It is a real labor of love for the actors and for the sound effects technicians,” said Ron Steelman, an actor in the group who is also the editor of the recorded programs.

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