Saturday, June 6, 2020


dad blogger
During the Golden Age of Radio, families used to huddle together listening to wonderful productions full of actor dramatizations, special sound effects, and musical scores. L.A. Theatre Works wants to reproduce that family experience by providing a variety of audio productions that can be enjoyed by listeners of all ages. Parents and kids can close their eyes and use their imaginations to have the stories of William Shakespeare, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Neil Simon, H.G. Wells and bestselling young adult author Bruce Coville play out in their mind as L.A. Theatre Works cast of actors and actresses bring stories and plays to life through MP3 digital audio downloads. These are more than audio books which just have someone reading text to you, because L.A. Theatre Works productions have a full cast along with music and sound effects.

My family enjoyed a nice evening sitting outside listing to the L.A. Theatre Works recreation of the Orson Welles radio thriller, based upon H.G. Wells' novel War of the Worlds, which fooled listeners on Halloween in 1938 into thinking a real Martian invasion was taking place. I was geeked to listen to this production of War of the Worlds not only because it is a classic sci-fi story but also because its cast was full of Star Trek alumni. The L.A. Theatre Works recording cast includes Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation actors John de Lancie, Meagen Fay, Gates McFadden, Leonard Nimoy, Dwight Schultz, Armin Shimerman, Brent Spiner, Tom Virtue and Wil Wheaton. It was a fun night sharing my passion for sci-fi and Star Trek with my kids while listening to an audio story like the way families used to before there was television.

geek daddy

The next day, I noticed my daughter hanging out in the backyard listening to L.A. Theatre Works' production of My Teacher is an Alien.  Adapted from the novel by Bruce Coville, 6th grader Susan Simmons (Lisa Bonet) can tell that her new substitute teacher, Mr. Smith, is really weird. She doesn't know just how weird — until she catches him peeling off his face! Can Susan and her friends prove that their teacher is from another planet before he completes his evil plan? It seems my kids have taken a liking to these audio recordings from L.A. Theatre Works.

Other shows available in the L.A. Theatre Works Family Collection include William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of Baskervilles, and Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers. Each of the titles in the L.A. Theatre Works Family Collection can be downloaded as an mp3 digital file for $4.99, and is also available for purchase as a CD. You can purchase them individually or buy the whole collection all at once.

family collection

In the L.A. Theatre Works recording of A Midsummer Night's Dream, a stellar cast brings Shakespeare’s world of wonder, magic, romance and comical misunderstandings to life. The fairy world: Glenne Headly (Mr. Holland's Opus) as Titania, Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica) as Oberon and David Krumholtz (Numb3rs) as Puck; the lovers: Tara Lynne Barr (Co-Ed) as Hermia, Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) as Demetrius, Kira Sternbach (Neighbors) as Helena and Brendan Bradley (Sona) as Lysander; and the hilarious “mechanicals”: Héctor Elizondo (Last Man Standing) as Peter Quince, Kyle Colerider-Krugh (Early Edition) as Starveling, Logan Fahey as Flute, André Sogliuzzo (American Dad!) as Tom Snout — and the inimitable Stacy Keach (Man With A Plan) as Bottom, who awakes to find his head transformed into that of a donkey.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles dramatizes one of the most famous stories ever written, inspired by the legend of a fearsome, diabolical hound of supernatural origin. What better way to experience a Sherlock Holmes mystery than through the voices of Seamus Dever (Castle) as Holmes, Geoffrey Arend (Madame Secretary) as Dr. Watson, and James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Sir Henry Baskerville? Also in the cast: Grey’s Anatomy’s Sarah Drew as the mysterious and exotic Beryl Stapleton. Winner of an Audie® Award from the Audio Publishers Association.

What happens to children in the absence of love? Rich in the comedy for which Neil Simon is famous, his Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Lost in Yonkers tells the story of two young boys, aged 13 and 16, who must spend one year with their austere and demanding grandmother. The cast includes Barbara Bain (Space: 1999) as Grandma Kurnitz and The Simpsons’ Dan Castellaneta as Uncle Louis, with Gia Carides (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Ben Diskin (Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir), Arye Gross (Ellen), Roxanne Hart (Chicago Hope) and Kenneth Schmidt.

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1 comment:

  1. What a great idea! Similar to all the podcasts my daughter has been enjoying :) Thanks for sharing!