I hope you enjoyed the TZ radio production of "Execution" starring Don Johnson as a tough cowboy from the old West that is brought to modern times by a scientist. I think it came out great and Don was marvelous as the mean cowboy killer.
Next up is "Bewitchin' Pool" by Earl Hamner and adapted for radio by the amazing Dennis Etchison. As Dennis explains it: Of all the Hamner episodes, this one may have the most heart. This one was cut and somewhat short-changed on TV. But Dennis's adaptation is based on Hamner's full script. The TV version aired June 19th, 1964. It was program 156 in the series and was the last TZ television episode ever broadcast, which was cancelled abruptly. It contrasts a bitter, edgy present with a return to an idyllic rural fantasy past. Two kids are miserable because of their parents' bitter, unhappy marriage. They dive into the family swimming pool to escape and surface in another time and place, straight out of Tom Sawyer. A wonderful older woman named Aunt T runs her rural house as a kind of orphans' home. The kids eventually return to the present, only to learn that their parents are divorcing. So they swim back to Aunt T's to live happily ever after.
There is a dark, unspoken undercurrent to this story, almost as if the kids commit suicide to escape their unhappiness. Realistically, from the parents' point of view, that is probably what happens. Whether the children's bodies are actually found we never know. But we don't dwell on that possibility. Hamner's story is about salvation by escaping to a better place, and that is what most of the audience will hear: a happy ending. But the darker, sadder story is there for those who care to think about it.
In the TV version Georgia Simmons played Aunt T. In our radio version the incredible Karen Black owns the role. I directed Karen and she's just the sweetest person ever! Jeff Lupetin, an amazing voice over artist and director handled the supporting directing chores on this one and the soon-to-be-released "The Hunt" starring Shelley Berman and Karen Black. I can't wait to hear the first draft of "Bewitchin' Pool' which will be early next week.
This Saturday on HOLLYWOOD 360 I have the great Stan Freberg as my guest along with the producers and director of CHICAGO OVERCOAT an independent film shot here in Chicago starring Frank Vincent, Armand Assante, Stacy Keach and Mike Starr. Next Saturday I have the always hilarious Tim Kazurinsky and on the 13th, the brilliant Stephnie Weir of Mad TV fame. HOLLYWOOD 360 airs on Chicago station WIND AM 560 from 7 pm to Midnight every Saturday night followed by THE TWILIGHT ZONE radio dramas at Midnight. If you are out of the area, tune in via the internet at: http://560wind.townhall.com/
That's all for now, check back for more NEWS FROM THE ZONE!