nytheatre.com review by Mark O’Toole
Radio Radio is a presentation of two classic radio plays adapted
for the stage: Lucille Fletcher’s Sorry, Wrong Number and an
episode from the Broadway’s My Beat radio series of the 1950’s,
amusingly entitled Two Bullets, Twice Dead.
August 15, 2002
Sorry, Wrong Number is an unwise attempt to translate a very tired old story to an entirely different medium. In fact, apart from being able to see a bed on the stage, it didn’t feel much like an adaptation at all. One suspects this came straight from the original radio play. It starts out promisingly like it’s going to be a tongue-in-cheek affair by having a radio announcer introduce the show, setting up what I thought was going to be a witty homage to all things radio. Instead I cheered on the killer when he finally turned up and wondered what had kept him from coming earlier.
After a lengthy intermission, Two Bullets, Twice Dead makes an appearance. This is a frenetic show, entirely different in tone and pace than Sorry, Wrong Number. I wonder why the company put them together in the first place. This show follows Detective Clover, played by a competent and well-cast Matt Wagner, along his beat as he tries to piece together a murder. It seems more like a homage to 1950s film noir than to radio, but enjoyable nonetheless. There are more set changes in this show than sets at the U.S. Open. And even if pieces of furniture appear onstage at the wrong time, it only adds to the show. Despite some production snafus, this show was fun to watch. Dave Koenig stands out in the cast. He plays numerous characters to brilliant comic effect and is a joy to watch. In fact most of the cast were terrific, in particular Mike Gold, Dawne Seifert, Molly Lloyd, and Paul Schnee.
Overall, while the second part of this sow is fun to watch, if you are going to bring two mediums together (obviously radio is not a visual medium), I would have liked to see something more creative and clever, being that this is 2002 after all.