This story features the vocal talent of Olivia Wadsworth and David Macharelli who portray two strangers who meet on the trolley and together they find they share much more than a destination.
Within the program are two stories featuring the incomparable Josh Newey as Washington Irving, who gifts to the listening audience the best performance of a fictional Washington Irving ever produced on radio.
David Macharelli’s ad-lib as Charles Dickens to Newey’s Washington Irving, “You put the Ass in Amb-ASS-adore” was enormously popular in the recording studio but we opted not to have that in the broadcast of the show. Perhaps a later version may include it!
Directed by Conrad Sienkiewicz, this episode was rehearsed once at Trinity Episcopal Church and then again before recording the episode.
Rich Cyr was at the rehearsal but could not be at studio on the recording date so we recorded his work separately a day earlier. As a production note, Cyr had studied how Edgar Allan Poe probably sounded with research via youtube videos but during the rehearsal was informed that the author had written the role with Cyr’s own voice in mind.
Quirk performed Cyr’s role during the main recording session and reversed the process when recording Cyr alone, then edited the two recordings together.
Jandi Hanna took on dual roles as the prim and proper Alice Dare-Crook (there was discussion on the name of this narrator character. I considered a George Plympton reference but we settled with an Alistair Cooke one.
There are too many references to count for the Dickens/Irving interaction. yes, Washington Irving had a brother Ebenezer who had a shop that burned. i can’t help but think that Bracebridge hall actually did have an inspiration for Dickens for the Christmas Carol. Barnaby Rudge was a work that wasn’t exactly a barn burner for Dickens. References to Great Expectations, Hard Times, Bleak House, etc are all in there as well as many references involving Christmas Carol.
For the Poe story, the idea of “Helen” at Sunnyside came from the idea of wanting Poe to get the idea of Lenore for The Raven but didn’t want it obvious at the beginning. Researching Irving just a little i did find a relative named Helen who may have lived in western part of New York so I justified it that way. The idea of being hard of hearing so someone can hear the LEN sound more than the HE” in Helen sound worked for me.
Fans of Poe will recognize all the references from “The philosophy of Furniture”, “Three Sundays in a Week”, obviously the Murders in the Rue Morgue (and if you haven’t read it, there’s an additional pun in how we referenced it.
Poe actually did write to Washington Irving who responded in writing.
I see no evidence they actually met in person but Poe was a mysterious figure and he didn’t live so far away that such a trip would be out of the question so I like the fable aspect of this meeting.
A “star” of this program is the music by Robert C. Fullerton. He recorded the song twice, once with vocals and instrument and once just instrumental. Then I used the instrumental underneath the two characters (Kristen and Steve) as a musical emphasis which I think was a rather special aspect of this program.
SERENDIP-HISTORY WRITTEN BY J. TIMOTHY QUIRK (C) 2018
OLIVIA WADSWORTH AS KRISTEN
DAVID MACHARELLI AS STEVE AND CHARLES DICKENS
JOSH NEWEY AS WASHINGTON IRVING
JANDI HANNA AS ALICE DARE-CROOK AND HELEN
RICH CYR AS EDGAR ALLAN POE
J. TIMOTHY QUIRK AS CONDUCTOR JT
ROBERT C. FULLERTON AS HIMSELF
THE NUTMEG JUNCTION THEME (C) 2018 ROBERT C. FULLERTON
MR. JT (C) 2018 ROBERT C. FULLERTON
SERENDIPITY (C) 2018 ROBERT C. FULLERTON
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED TO THE ARTIST AND MUSIC PERFORMED BY ROBERT C FULLERTON AND USED ON THIS PROGRAM WITH PERMISSION
THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION. THE PROGRAM DOES NOT PURPORT TO PRESENT ACTUAL EVENTS.