Classic capers by George Burns and Gracie Allen, Bob and Ray, Abbott and Costello, Fibber McGee and Molly and others are featured in Radio Redux’s comedy revue Burns & Allen and Friends at 7:30 p.m. April 12 and 13 and 2 p.m. April 14 at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene.
Tickets, starting at $15, are available at the Radio Redux website (www.radioreduxusa.com), by calling the Hult Center box office (541-682-5000) or by visiting the ticket office in the Hult Center lobby (12-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. Saturday).
Director Fred Crafts calls the show “a cavalcade of comedy classics featuring early radio’s greatest hits from some of its best-loved performers.”
“We’re doing this show just for the fun of it,” Crafts says. “Times were tough in the 1930s and 40s, and radio played a key role in cheering people up. Laughter still is the best medicine, and radio comedy is guaranteed to cure whatever ails you.”
Centering the show is a re-imagination of the entire 1950 episode of The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (“Income Tax Problems”) in which Gracie explains the twisted logic of her unorthodox accounting methods to her bewildered accountant and her long-suffering husband.
Also on tap are witty excerpts from The Fibber McGee and Molly Show (“Cleaning Out the Hall Closet”), Our Miss Brooks (“Puppy Love”), The Bob and Ray Show (“Garish Summit”), Pat Novak for Hire (“Rory Malone”), Dragnet (“The Case of the Copper Clapper”), The Romance of Helen Trent (“The Purloined Photograph”) and The Abbott and Costello Show (“Who’s on First?”)/
The Radio Redux acting corps is busy. Achilles Massahos and Rebecca Nachison play George Burns and Gracie Allen, respectively, but they, as well as the other cast members (Dan Pegoda, Ken Hof, Sandy Silverthorne, Al Villanueva, Carol Philips, Don Aday, and Jennifer Sellers), also create a number of characters in the various sketches.
Radio Redux is a Eugene repertory theater troupe that authentically re-creates historic radio shows in productions enhanced by live sound effects and music, comical commercials and novelty songs by the vocal trio The Jewel Tones.
In addition to an entertaining production suitable for all ages, patrons can experience:
An illustrated talk on radio comedy’s origins in vaudeville as exemplified by the comedy team of George Burns and Gracie Allen, by film historian Patrick Lucanio. Lucanio has written numerous articles and books on film and broadcast history. His 30-minute illustrated talk, “Laughter in the Air,” is at 6:45 p.m. April 12 and 13 and 1:15 p.m. April 14 in the Hult Center’s Jacobs Community Room. The event is free and open to the public.
A lobby exhibition of historic radio collectibles by curator Dennis Wright of the Radio Days Theater of the Mind Museum in Sutherlin.
An informal cast meet-and greet in the Hult Center lobby after the show.