This week Nutmeg Junction joined WESU Middletown radio. This is the first station to take on our show on since our premiere episode on 3/31/2018 (on Robin hood radio four affiliated stations WHDD) and 4/1 (WAPJ) and CROC radio.
So this is the show that can be seen a good introduction into our universe. If you haven’t heard our program before, this is a great episode to start with”. We have three stories in this episode: The Grey Whisper (featuring Jandi Hanna), Daring Darling Darly (featuring Caroline Sienkiewicz) and A Case of a Little Light Murder (featuring Lana Peck and Kurt Boucher). These stories have wonderful vocals from Josh Newey, Robert C Fullerton, Conrad Sienkiewicz and Rich Cyr.
Now I had originally considered having The Professor story in this segment but the Professor stories are approximately 15minutes so wouldn’t fit into a three section show. I considered Space Sentries and Tex Bijou but both are shows that benefit from the entire show listening experience.
These stories generally have everyone in our cast in the shows (except for Olivia who began recording with us after these episodes.
“THIS EPISODE IS A GREAT PLACE TO START FOR NEW LISTENERS”
“Tex Bijou: Cinema’s Singing Cowboy ™” was one of the original character creations that the came straight from the idea of doing a new “golden age of radio” style program in the first place. Westerns have a long and storied history in entertainment in all forms (novels, comic books, radio, tv and film) and the “singing cowboy” idea was a special form of that sort of hero. The two singing cowboys I always enjoyed were Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. Oh, the “tm” portion pf Tex Bijou: Cinema’s Singing Cowboy ™ is part of the joke of the character and show, we’re not trying to be precious here!
Robert C. Fullerton, a founding cast member of Nutmeg Junction, is not only a voice actor but is our primary musician on the show. He created the Nutmeg Junction theme, the Mr. JT theme and numerous other songs already on the show. So I thought it would be fun for his primary character to portray “Tex Bijou: Cinema’s Singing Cowboy (TM)” and the wanted Tex to be a surprising creation as the story unfolded. I wrote the Mise En Scene lyrics and he put those lyrics to music and improvised the theme to Tex Bijou. I added my whistling to that number!
As Sheriff and Deputy, the team of Kurt Boucher and Jandi Hanna was a joyous discovery and their characters eventual contempt of the Hollywood status of the main character grows funnier with every listen.
Jess and Jesse are the PAs portrayed by Olivia Wadsworth and Josh Newey. They have to carry the show’s premise and I enjoy how they succeeded in that task. Both Josh and Olivia brought nuances to the roles that improved the words on the page. For instance every time the Deputy wishes to chastise the PAs, Josh Newey’s Jesse always redirects back to the Sheriff. As memory serves that was not an intentional aspect of the script but Josh brought it to life and it works very well.
This episode was Olivia’s first real foray into our world of audio theater (she did play a minor role in the Professor episode with two lines but this was the first script that really showcased her talent). Her portrayal of Jess as an efficient PA who provides the list of options for the star of the show is a lot of fun!
And what can I say about Joel Benson! Joel had a few lines (just like Olivia had a few lines her first time out with us) but he sold every one of them! What makes this character work is how completely opposite his voice is to Tex Bijou’s (and Joel plays his stunt double. With Joel’s sense of humor, we’re lucky we have him in a subsequent episode (The Grey Whisper Returns) and we’ll have him come back for more! Joel has a radio show on WAPJ called “Unhinged” which airs Thursdays noon to 2pm.
The entire idea of Daring Darling Darly was to do a show that featured the “plucky” pre-teen adventurer who gets into tricky situations when trying to solve mysteries or deal with secrets far beyond the years of experience. Some characters in this genre have dogs as their animal companion so we chose to have a cat in this ours.
We also wanted the character to have a catchphrase and “Bob’s Your Uncle” was a particularly innocuous one that seems very dated which is entirely appropriate for the time period we’re going for (even though its unspecified).
Every cast member has or will have a signature character. We are fortunate to have Caroline Sienkiewicz as a valued team member/Junctioneer and she was perfect for this role.
These two episodes (Darly and the previous one with Space Sentries) showcased Conrad Sienkiewicz as the narrator/announcer who is hawking some kind of product associated with the show which was often an iconic feature of the golden age of radio programs.
Also some programs had “secret squad” messages so we created one ourselves! Here’s the code
This episode was rehearsed and recorded at the same time as Space Sentries and featured the same cast (except for Phil Hall who was the guest on Space Sentries)
We knew that Angel and the Hustler (a wonderful musical duo Robert C. Fullerton and Angela Luna) were going to record for this episode so we recorded our “passengers’ talking about the group and then recorded Angel and the Hustler later and they performed two songs brilliantly!
Our VIP guest was KJ Johansen of KBJB internet radio. She will be appearing in an upcoming episode of Nutmeg Junction as a vocal actor. We look forward to adding more voices from the KBJB family to the Junction audio experience!
This episode was inspired by the classic low budget sci-fi audio programs that attempted to prove their story took place in the future or space by using quasi-futuristic tech sounding terminology.
After the first three episodes that we recorded (which were actually Ep 2-4) a tactical decision was made internally to try to get ahold of our structure and cast a few cast members with each show, so that even though there were 8 regular cast members, a total of four may show up in one episode.
Now immediately after that we recorded Blaze Jackson (the first episode we released but had half the cast). Then we recorded Daring Darling Darly (which we haven’t released yet) and this one, Space Sentries with essentially the other half)
Space Sentries is essentially a “two-hander”, a two person show, with an additional role added in for complication. So this one featured Rich Cyr as Puffle and Kurt Boucher as Commander Alyx. I was asked why I called the character Alyx and the reason was that I did not know when I wrote it whether a male or a female actor would portray the role (both roles were gender neutral for casting).
This point found its way into a news article for the Lakeville Journal! We were pleased to have Shaw Izikson visit our rehearsal and learn about our show.
Our guest vocal actor and VIP guest was actor, author, podcaster, Phil Hall. We discuss his podcast (which can be found HERE) and his books (his 8th coming out about the Patterson-Gimlin tape)