Producer: Aural Stage Studios
Availability: Free – 1918 Show Site
Greetings, Audionauts – Captain Radio here with a review of Aural Stage Studio’s initial production, 1918.
Toward the end of World War I, if an off-course alien armada’s spaceships randomly crashed around our globe and you suddenly acquired highly-advanced alien weapons, what might be your first instinct?
To her credit, Evelyn Ceriwyn, a vaudevillian performer aversely transformed into a savvy femme fatale (and portrayed by equally versatile actress Robin Reed), more often remains clear-headed. However, her brainy Allied scientist sidekick, Henry Isotope (rendered with hilarious aplomb by classical thespian Patrick Pizzolorouso) seems nigh incapable of casting off his boy-in-a-toystore fixation with alien tech.
These two set out to recover and to unlock the mysterious power of the off-world Orbs, master control devices that respond only to interaction with Evelyn. Racing against them to extract the same secrets are Avery Pearson’s “Dr.Heffeweissensteinhagen,” Alyssa Simon’s “Frau Hera,” and a fearsome creature resurrected with alien technology.
Aural Stage Studios, created to help productions at all funding levels maintain professional audio quality, came together as a collaboration between sound designer Matthew Boudreau and his mentor, Mike de Almeida, the resident sound designer at State University of New York in Oswego.
When Matthew and actress/director, Samantha Mason, decided through Aural Stage Studios to produce an original feature, she introduced him to playwright/actor Richard Lovejoy who, in turn, suggested adapting his dormant spec television script for 1918.
Though Samantha might have thought her role in the deal done, ‘twas not. Swiftly drafted as Director, she demonstrated subtle skill overseeing that everyone did their job to the level of professional potential present across the actor and designer resumes. In particular, Matthew and Mike combined their skills to give the production a refreshing sense of aural depth and clarity and sonic seamlessness that make it an adventure to hear.
Lovejoy joins in his own mayhem, depicting deadpan Dr. Xavier Xanders, Isotope’s colleague and an unimpressed “Control” who must endure Isotope’s “Agent 86” antics as, here, the latter shows off one of his “toys” to Evelyn:
Discovering The Order of the Horizon’s secret lab trashed, the three confront Abe Goldfarb’s sneering, malevolent automaton re-creation of someone quite familiar:
With most of the relatively brief episode allotted to introduce story premise and style as well as principal characters, this first 1918 offering runs a bit light on presumable action. However, the final scene leaves the audience locked and loaded for plenty to follow.
Chris Chappell’s alternatingly heroic, eerie, and poignant scoring complement well Lovejoy’s script which seems to strike a good balance between sci-fi drama/tension and comic relief. And Pizzolorouso’s frenetic Isotope briefly had me bemusing whether, in that alternate timeline, Ritalin should be sold over the counter.
Listen yourself to 1918, Episode One on the First Sound channel at captainradio.com or by visiting the production web site at 1918show.com. While there, be sure to catch the previews which tantalizingly hint at what’s to come in this quirky pleaser as new 10-minute episodes appear every two weeks.
Until next time, Audionauts, this is Captain Radio, signing off![audio:http://media.blubrry.com/radiodramarevival/www.radiodramarevival.com/captradio/captain-radio-aural-stage-studios-1918.mp3]