Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Wettest Beak

Catclaw associate Sherry Deatrick has a new play, The Wettest Beak, currently running at the Rudyard Kipling on Oak Street in Louisville, as part of the Finnigan Festival. The play is the third installment (and we hear there will be a fourth!) in her series that began with Beak Wet, Everybody! and followed by Beak Wetter.

As per our own Voraxical values, Deatrick's idiosyncratic style puts texture ahead of content and character development over story arc. To attempt description of the dadaistic goings-on would do the works an injustice; suffice it to say there's a mutant half-human-half-chicken and a swingin' UPS man who rock the boat for a family of eBay-obsessed apocalypse-minded hillbillies. Our pal George Bailey, who worked with us on A Day in the Life of Eddie Jester, Toulouse-inations and Patrick Amsterdam, did an outstanding job here, both as director and as actor, reprising his role as "Teensy".

The actors rarely stand still in a Deatrick play, tending to leap, swish, and gyrate endlessly like Charles Ludlam characters would be if they were spazzed out on crystal meth in a trailer in Floyd's Knobs. That being the case, almost all the photographs taken ended up in blur-o-vision. (But the actual play was blurry too.)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bits Of Beauty

From the JSH collection: Bits of Beauty magazine, November 1947. A delicious mix of Broadway showgirls, actresses, models and pin-up girls of the day.

Frances Vorne

Toni Seven


Dorothy Jordan

Earl Carroll's Charmers

Josetta Dore

Friday, April 1, 2011

Chop Chop

This half hour snippet of Grand Guignol grisly silliness comes from something called the Tragedies Theatre, and it's called Chop Chop. It seems to take place in Victorian times, and though several delightfully hammy thespians are here chewing up the scenery, the real star of the play is a gullotine.

View: The Tragedies Theatre du Grand Guignol - Chop Chop (YouTube)

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Guiding Light on Radio

There's plenty of old Guiding Light radio shows on YouTube, from the days before it was a television show. The soap operas have their origin in radio, and this example from 1941 is a classic of the genre, complete with commercials and a mail-in contest.

Listen: The Guiding Light, June 10 1941

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Call of Cthulhu

I like audiobooks for the same reason I like radio dramas and staged readings of plays - one's imagination is forced to fill in the blanks and nothing is spoonfed to the mind. This audiobook version of H.P. Lovecraft's 1928 novella The Call of Cthulhu is read by Garrick Hagon, the guy who played Biggs Darklighter in Star Wars.

Read along with Biggs, using Project Gutenberg's text copy or you can download it as a free e-book at ManyBooks.

Listen: The Call of Cthulhu read by Garrick Hagon

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Study in Scarlet

One can find online the entire 1933 movie of A Study in Scarlet starring Reginald Owen, but I'm strangely drawn to this 32-part YouTube posting of an audiobook version instead. It features John Tefler reading the original Arthur Conan Doyle story - the very first of the Sherlock Holmes tales - originally published in the 1887 edition of Beeton's Christmas Annual.

If you like to read along with an audiobook, as I do, then check out the full text of the book at Project Gutenberg. Dashed clever device, this internet, eh what? A click here and clack there and Bob's yer Uncle.

Listen: A Study in Scarlet audiobook

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Green Hornet on Radio

This new Seth Rogen Green Hornet movie turned out to be pretty loathsome, although we here at Catclaw HQ are certainly big Cameron Diaz fans (she was great in last year's Knight and Day). Choosing to frame it in a slapstick camp style, they've totally missed the flavor of the 1966-1967 TV show and the 1940-1941 film serials.

But most of you young whippersnappers probably don't even know that the Green Hornet was originally a radio drama, having debuted on January 31, 1936, on Detroit's WXYZ, and running sporadically until 1952.

Five episodes of the radio show are downloadable in mp3 format from the great Old Time Radio Fans website: "Black Market for Profit", "The Return of Oliver Perry", "Murder and the Dope Racket", "Hot Money and Death", and "The Stuffed Panda".

Download: Five episodes of The Green Hornet

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Aliens in the Mind

From the Internet Archive:

"This six-part radio drama stars none other than Peter Cushing and Vincent Price, who between them became two of the most famous horror film stars of the 1950s and 1960s.

Aliens in the Mind is based on a story by the then-foremost Doctor Who script editor Robert Holmes. It centers around the discovery, on a remote Scottish island, of a community of 'human mutants' capable of telepathy. A plan is in place to use them to control the British Government, and friends Curtis Lark (Vincent Price) and Hugh Baxter (Peter Cushing) join forces to combat them."

Listen: Aliens in the Mind