Friday, March 31, 2017

Jim French Productions Imagination Theatre Closes

In show business it's said "The show must go on" but alas this time it's not to be. Jim French's Imagination Theater takes its final bow as the curtain comes down on what some consider the last truly great radio drama production group in the United States. Citing age and health issues Jim French announced via the group's Facebook page that Imagination Theater would close and officially go off line effective March 19, 2017.

Imagination Theater produced a variety of original content: movies for your mind, single episode features, a one hour mystery playhouse, and several exceptional long running radio drama series. Among them The Hillary Kane Mysteries, Kincaid The Strange Seeker, Mr. Darnborough Investigates, Raffles The Gentleman Thief, The Adventures of Harry Nile, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Holmes may have been the pinnacle achievement for Jim French productions. This series is one of the finest productions Sherlock Holmes productions ever created during any time period. The group regularly recorded live before a 500 seat studio audience in a local theater using live foley sound effects and music. The live shows brought back shades of the glory days of radio drama. Their consistent and wide spread presence on the radio proved that radio drama, when done right, can still draw a large scale listening audience. Their shows were classic in nature, a throwback to the golden age of radio drama and a hit with listeners.

For 20 years Imagination Theater was America's premiere radio drama group being heard Coast to Coast, in Canada and in Australia. It featured award winning scripts and sported a talented pool of regular actors. Among them were Larry Albert, Pat French, John Patrick Lowrie, Terry Rose, John Armstrong, Kathryn Shield, Dennis Bateman, Gary Schwartz, Ellen McLain, Mary Anne Dorward,  Lee Paasch, Rick May, John Gilbert, and Phil Harper. Many big name Hollywood guests graced the productions as well, including Patty Duke, Russell Johnson, Tom Smothers, Keenan Wynn, Roddy MacDowall, Ruta Lee, John Astin, Harry Anderson and Richard Sanders.

Imagination was the beacon in the night; the star that shined the brightest. Their success was the goal to which many a radio dramatist aspired. Sadly we say goodbye to Imagination Theatre. This wonderfully talented group will be sorely missed. They leave a giant hole not only in the air waves but in the hearts and minds of many, many listeners.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

ALIENS Now A Radio Drama

Riply (Sigourney Weaver) and Captain Dallas (Tom Skerritt) started it all in 1979 when the cast of the Nostromo unwittingly brought an alien creature aboard their ship, a creature that began hunting and killing them. The legendary Alien is back! No one is safe in Christopher Golden's "Alien River of Pain."

Producer's Summary:
When Ellen Ripley finally returns to Earth, she learns that the planet LV-426 — now called Acheron — has been colonized. But LV-426 is where Ripley and the crew of the Nostromo found the original Xenomorph — the killing machine known as the Alien.
Protected by the Colonial Marines, the colonists seek to terraform the storm-swept planet. Two such residents are Anne and Russell Jorden, seeking a fortune that eluded them on Earth. On Acheron, Anne gives birth to the colony's first newborn, Rebecca Jorden, also known as Newt. The wildcatters discover a vast, decaying spaceship. The horseshoe-shaped vessel is of particular interest to Weyland-Yutani, and may be the answer to their dreams. But what Anne and Russ find on board proves to be the stuff, not of dreams, but of nightmares.

Dirk Maggs, radio drama producer/director extraordinaire, brings together a cast laden with Hollywood talent for the full-cast radio drama production of Alien: River of Pain. Featuring Golden Globe and Saturn Award nominated actress Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies, Limitless), Colin Salmon (Alien Vs Predator, Arrow, Resident Evil, James Bond Tomorrow Never Dies, James Bond The World is Not Enough) and Philip Glenister (Kingdom of Heaven, Ashes to Ashes) and Alexander Siddig (Star Trek Deep Space 9, Game of Thrones, Clash of the Titans) this science fiction action-adventure is high octane, pulse pounding, edge of your seat entertainment. Try not to scream when one of the crew gets it!

Alien: River of Pain audio clip