Radio Randi on Broadway Bound
It began innocently enough...
I inherited a boatload of Broadway musicals. Original cast albums. Yes, albums. Also reel-to-reels.
Broadway shows from the 1950s, the 1960s and a few from the 1970s.
What to do with this treasure trove of Americana? These were popular musicals, forgotten musicals, history-making musicals (some of them, at least). For instance: does anyone even know that it was Mary Martin, not Julie Andrews, who originated the role of Maria from The Sound of Music? That Richard Burton and Julie Andrews and Richard Kiley were in the original cast of Camelot? That Phil Silvers originally turned down the part of Pal Joey because he didn't want to appear onstage with glasses?
At about the same time I was knee deep in reel-to-reels, I was channel surfing on the radio. Time after time I randomly found myself listening to really interesting programming - only to find out that they emanated from the new Arlington station WERA. Suddenly, like the overture in the beginning of the second act of a musical I had the answer! I would share my musical stash with the Arlington community by creating a radio program dedicated to Broadway musicals.
Could I do it? Why not? So, like many other aspiring radio jocks with a dream, I submitted an application and enrolled in the On-Air Radio Broadcast class and learned how to put a show together. From concept to completion my synapses were firing on many cylinders. But I decided I wouldn't do a live show - at least not yet. So I enlisted the talented engineering help of a fellow classmate, David Lampp, and together we created BROADWAY BOUND. Each week was organized around a different theme: Teenage Angst (Grease, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia); Implausible Story Lines (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Book of Mormon, Pippin); ISM's (racism, capitalism); Unusual Professions (Sweet Charity, Sweeney Todd, Wildcat, Hamilton); Children (Oliver, Les Mis, Matilda, Bye Bye Birdie) and each episode misfiled with trivia, history and humor.
As a naturally enthusiastic person, I decided to modulate my voice to a respectable tone (think NPR). My listeners (ok, my friends and family) asked if I was depressed! So I let the enthusiasm back into my voice and I learned how to find my voice. The show took off! I created a Facebook page (BROADWAY BOUND) and announced upcoming episodes through Twitter and other social media platforms. After 7 months I took on a co-host, Judy Meschel, someone who was also a fan of musicals. We took radio handle names. We had fun - heck, we are still having fun!
As BROADWAY BOUND has been on the air for over a year now, and I am creating the type of show I would tune in to listen to! It's great having a co-host who shares your vision and passion; our styles are complementary. And I am so very grateful to the staff of WERA and AIM for their continued patience and humor. Going forward I'd like to try some live episodes and might even interview people who create or perform in those shows who keep my toes a-tappin'!
Catch BROADWAY BOUND Thursdays @ 4:00. And don't forget to "like" the BROADWAY BOUND Facebook page!