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Artist’s Voice: The Return of Radio

This month, community members will audition for and perform a radio-show script from the 1940s, complete with analog sound effects and costumes.

By Natalie Strong

Now that the pandemic has been going on for more than 18 months, we’ve all reached the end of the internet and seen everything on Netflix—and we are craving something new. Good news! El Segundo is making a return to the heyday of old-timey radio, making what’s old new again. This time, however, radio—which was, of course, the inspiration for the modern-day podcast—is coming to you live and in person! (“In person” is the new “virtual,” you know. )

In a whirlwind of 21 days from audition to show time, members of the El Segundo community will perform the “Halloween Show” episode of Baby Snooks and Daddy, a 1940s radio show about a young girl named Baby Snooks, originally played by Fanny Brice, who created the character for the Vaudeville stage. In a live reading in the Friends of the Library Room, nine local performers will bring the original script to life in front of a live audience. Dressed in the spirit of the time, the actors will create their own sound effects backed by live music.

If you are reading this column on the first or second of October, it’s not too late to audition! Auditions are Friday, October 1, from 2-4pm and Saturday, October 2, from 11am-1pm. Consider auditioning! The time commitment for performers is minimal at one read-through, two rehearsals, one tech rehearsal, and one performance.

If you are reading this article in mid-October, please put this unique entertainment opportunity on your calendar. The socially distanced, masks-required performance goes live for an audience on Saturday, October 23, at 2pm. The show is family friendly, though it is not considered children’s theater, specifically.

If you are reading this column at the very end of October, I’m sorry, but you missed out altogether. But fear not! This is a pilot effort, spearheaded by Senior Librarian Julie Todd and community member Dolores McAllister and will hopefully lead to similar productions in the future. For more information, see the display in El Segundo Public Library or contact Julie Todd at 310-524-2722 or Dolores McAllister at 310-528-8166.

Natalie Strong lives in El Segundo.

This column appears in the October 2021 issue of The El Segundo Scene.

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