Title: Third Coast Live
Producer: Third Coast Live Theater
Availability: Free – Third Coast Live Theater
Greetings, Audionauts – Captain Radio here with a look at …
When founded by Barbara Turning in 2001, Third Coast Live Theater recorded compilations of “live” shows performed before appreciative audiences in cozy public Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas venues. Their “variety” format included music, spoofed commercials, and sketches in the style of Old-Time Radio greats, Bob and Ray. Listen as Jerry Houston’s character turns a hippy-dippy interview segment into a molasses river:
Barbara recalls originally feeling “a little like we were so geekie and ‘unusual’”, though, in retrospect, she now feels more like a “pioneer” as classic audio comedy/drama has made its comeback through, first, web simulcasts, then broadcast streams, and, most recently, podcasts.
Gradually, the troop developed a voice and style all its own. By mid-decade Barbara had become a consummate networker, and one of her connections, San Francisco comedy writer Jim Cranna, encouraged TCL to push on full-steam with their popular modern culture spoofs.
In this 21st century send-up of “Who’s on First?,” where the humor of Abbott and Costello seems to encounter that of Stan Freberg, “Robin”, a prospective computer buyer, founders hopelessly on what to most of us now would be familiar computer-related product names:
The troop’s success producing original material in live performance peaked in 2005 in a fateful theatrical run, grimly referred to thereafter as the “Lakewood Event”. TCL booked a performance run at the lavishly restored 1930’s East Dallas Lakewood Theater, and, for the first time, entrusted event marketing to a third-party.
Unfortunately, the underwhelming marketing campaign drew paltry attendance. Barbara recalls bitter-sweetly a cast member receiving a C-Note tip from a prominent, and sympathetic, patron after one of their performances.
Recovering from disappointment and looking for a new heading, TCL migrated into sound studios. There they began producing scripted studio sketches which evolved to resemble current podcast audio comedy. Skits grew to scenes that eventually matured into full episodes featuring recurring lead characters. Most recently appeared investigator Dick Private and his sidekick, Jocko, portrayed by voice veterans Bob Magruder and Robin McGee. Excuse yourself if you experience Guy Noir déjà vu while listening, as Magruder’s character salivates out similes regarding the best “dish” in a seamy restaurant scene that cameos John William Gault as Jacques, a muddled maître d’:
Encouraged professionally to tackle “Westerns,” another easily-spoofed genre, TCL will soon release its first tongue-in-cheek episodes of Frontier Notary and The Loan Arranger.
Meanwhile, with tentative backing from no less an audio production luminary than Yuri Rasovsky, Barbara Turning soon hopes to land grant money to write and to produce a compressed timeline docu-drama on the disenfranchised San Francisco area Native-American tribe, the Ohlones.
Hopefully, some of these sonic samples have left you …
… so be sure to drop by your friendly neighborhood Third Coast Live Theater web site at thirdcoastlive.net.
Until next time, Audionauts, this is Captain Radio, signing off![audio:http://media.blubrry.com/radiodramarevival/www.radiodramarevival.com/captradio/captain-radio-visits-third-coast-live-theater.mp3]