As battles raged in Europe and tensions mounted in the United States, Hollywood offered a much-welcomed 112-minute escape with The Philadelphia Story in 1940. Billed with an all-star casting, including Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart, the romantic comedy intricately weaves a convoluted love rectangle, where past loves, new crushes and hastily lain relationships collide. On August 21 and 22, the Arts Garage’s Radio Theatre will bring this hilarious and fun script to life through classic radio broadcast means.
From its heyday, with Orson Welles inciting terror as The War of the Worlds played out on a live broadcast, to noir classics like Dragnet and “Guy Noir” of today, radio has held a special place on the mantel of Americana. Moments engrained in the fabric of the country’s history rang through the airwaves, piping statements like “a date which will live in infamy” into homes. Radio’s power—the ability to inform and entertain—united living rooms from coast to coast.
Times have changed. Vacuum tubes have given way to LED televisions, and the radio of today can strike more of a derisive tone depending on the station. But there is still something captivating about hearing a voice through unseen waves. To pay homage to radio’s heyday, the Arts Garage’s Radio Theatre is turning the spoken word into life-action entertainment. Adapting scripts from classic movies from radio’s heyday, actors will perform live using specially designed sound-effect devices for a nostalgic experience akin to attending a broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion.
In The Philadelphia Story, wealthy socialite Tracy is set to marry George, a nouveau riche “man of the people.” Eager to cover the wedding, Dexter, Tracy’s ex-husband, is enlisted to introduce reporter Mike Connor. Lines begin to blur as Tracy finds herself attracted to Mike, as old feelings for Dexter begin to resurface, all while George finds himself on the outside looking in.
- Admission costs $15-$25; $5 more at the door.
- Showtimes are August 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m.
- For more information, visit artsgarage.org.
- Each Radio Theatre play is recorded for audiences to enjoy long after the curtain has fallen. Visit facebook.com/artsradionetwork for more information.
- And as always, it’s B.Y.O.W.—Bring Your Own Whatever.