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”
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)
This was the first episode we actually rehearsed and recorded. In fact we rehearsed the episodes one one night. Then we recorded those three episodes on one night in late January. W e recorded the show out of sequence, recording the musicians first and then different segments of each show which made the editing process a challenge.
Belle of the Fall was amazing. They have just released their second album and they have an album release concert at Infinity Bistro in Norfolk, Ct on 4/22. They performed two songs for us and they were wonderful. The applause was spontaneous and well deserved.
The episode was recorded by Barrie Soucy of WAPJs Miscellaneous Morning Show.
Our first guest star was Rich Cyr, the comedian and author (and soon to be podcaster). Rich has always been an entertaining individual and his creative energies seem to be limitless. I interviewed him for a Nutmeg Chatter post a few years back. Then I had the opportunity with my friend KJ Johansen on our show Black Tie Lunchbox. And further, when I wrote about an Improv group out of (at that time) Derby called Sterling Lion, I discovered he was a part of that group too! So I was well aware of his talents. When he came to the show he offered his vocal abilities to a role in the FOLLOWING episode after that one and we knew he’d be a great fit for our group. He was invited to join us as a Nutmeg Junctioneer. As this was the first episode we ever did and he was a part of it and the subsequent ones, he holds a rare distinction of being our first GUEST and being a founding member of the Nutmeg Junction team.
photo by lsgoriginal
photo by lsgoriginal
photo by lsgoriginal
photo by lsgoriginal
photo by lsgoriginal
photo by lsgoriginal
The idea we had for the passenger story pays homage to game shows of old and of a particular familiar golden age comedian who hosted a very popular game show. I enjoy the dynamic between Lana Peck and Kurt Boucher who act and perform together with the group Glum Puppet. Josh Newey jumped in for the announcer and does a wonderful job.
Caroline Sienkiewicz and our director Conrad Sienkiewicz are passengers who come take the train. Originally we had the idea of recording the song every single time. That was not a particularly effective idea for time and resources so that idea was scrapped.
My “JT (J. Timothy Quirk) character’s interaction with Jandi Hanna’s Lead Conductor Margot was meant to tell a short story within a story. The character of Lead Conductor Margot was created specifically to have a three story arc, to announce a retirement, prepare for it and then retire. As stated in the past episode, we liked Jandi’s character so much, we used the fourth episode written/rehearsed/recorded (Blaze Jackson) as our premiere episode to give that character more time on the air. As for my character I was listening to a lot of Jack Benny episodes before writing the script and I was thinking of an older, sometimes flawed but engaging host of the show. That was the concept. We were learning here in our pilot episodes but I think and hope the audience will see that our learning curve is rather short.
A few days ago I was speaking to John Ramsey, the GM of WAPJ where we record the show. He said over the years there were countless individuals who professed interest in doing an audio-theater program from time to time but those ideas never came to fruition. He recalled that I professed the same interest to him and then weeks later we accomplished it. It’s true that we started the idea at the end of December, our first meeting was 12/28 which is why we call the main trolley the 12-28. We rehearsed our first episodes in January 15th. We recorded at the end of January. We went to air on April 1 on WAPJ (and as it turned out we actually aired on Robin Hood Radio that Saturday 3/31). This was only accomplished because there are so many talented and dedicated people who want to see the idea succeed.
We have recorded 8 stories so far. This is but the second one. As we continue to build the show and grow we add more talented actors to our number who are finding this adventure to be quite entertaining and fun.
Our upcoming stories will include a tongue and cheek mystery at an old mansion with Nathaniel and Netta Chance, an adventure featuring The Grey Whisper who is “a master of disguise, a fighter of crime and a wonderful knitter”, a tale in space called “Space Sentries”, a story with a young adventurer called “Daring Darling Darly” and an intriguing science fiction epic entitled “The Professor” which is the episode written specifically to feature a “passenger story” (read audio-theater) all the way through.
We are all volunteers who are creating a show we hope our listeners will enjoy.
Caroline Sienkiewicz-Babbitt is in 6th grade at Torrington Middle School. She is part of High Honors, Girl Scout troop 40004, the Warner theater, Goshen Players, and the TMS drama club. She is almost 12 in May. She loves to read and write. She has been in productions of Seussical, Peter Pan, First Date, Boeing Boeing, and is now in Beauty and the Beast. She wants to be a special effects makeup and movie artist when she gets older. Her favorite animals are whales and otters, and her favorite color is maroon. She also knows that those facts are irrelevant.
Among her many roles in Nutmeg Junction is the recurring character, Julia Porter. Her signature role as “Darly” in “The New Adventures of Daring Darling Darly”!
Nutmeg Junction will begin airing Sunday April 1 at 1pm on WAPJ (89.9 and 105.1FM) and April 2nd on other stations and online. Stay tuned for exciting information about the program!