Go Back in Time with Tibbits’ “When Radio was King”

Go Back in Time with Tibbits’ “When Radio was King”

Coldwater- With songs from the Andrews Sisters, vintage commercials, shows, and even the classic “Who’s on First?” routine, Tibbits Summer Theatre will present “When Radio Was King,” an original show to take audiences back to the golden age of radio.

Mimicking the radio studio experience from the 1940s, “When Radio Was King” will include a variety of programs like the crime-stopping adventures of “The Shadow,” the antics of “Fibber McGee and Molly,” and Abbott and Costello, plus the vocals of the Andrews Sisters. Written to be reflective of a bygone era, it will also include snippets of the news, singing commercials, and moments of soap opera–all accompanied with live sound effects.

Before the advent of television and its visual delivery of entertainment, radio painted a world through sound. This unique experience will allow audiences to enjoy entertainment from a different perspective. Tibbits will return to the days where one could just focus on the sounds and allow their imaginations to fill in the gaps.

Tibbits produced “Radio Remembered” as part of their 1999 summer theatre season. “When Radio Was King” will also feature a collection of vaudeville skits, advertisements and programs that provided the entertainment during the early 1940s.

Tibbits Artistic Director Charles Burr stated, “Certainly it will be interesting to watch the actors’ facial expressions or the use of the props to create the live sound effects. But you can also literally just close your eyes in this production and let it pour over you.”

Tibbits Summer Theatre’s core group of professional company members from across the United States will include veteran Tibbits actors Stephanie Burdick, Liz Davis, Brooke Jackson, Paul Kerr, Michael Motkowski, Peter Riopelle, and Matthew C. Scott along with WTVB radio personality Ken Delaney. The production will be directed by Charles Burr with music direction and music arrangement by Matthew Everingham. The design staff features lights by Catie Bencowe, set design by Leon Kriser, costumes by Laura Odom and Dusti Donbrock, and sound design by Weston Felker, with Rachel Marengere as stage manager and Bryce Dansby as Master Electrician.

The 2020 TST Season that includes “When Radio was King” is presented through the generous sponsorship support of Coldwater Board of Public Utilities; Parrish Excavating, Inc.; and Frederick Family Dental. Additional sponsors include Coldwater Orthodontics; Dr. Jon & Seibra Herbener; Stan and Judy Bushouse; Great Lakes Chiropractic; Honor Credit Union; Coldwater Exchange Club; Matthew C. Christopher, DDS; and Vested Risk Strategies.

Tickets for “When Radio was King” are $20 (including fees) for all seats, with discounts available to Tibbits members. Performances will run Thursday through Saturday, July 23-25 at 7pm. To add to the Tibbits experience, Tibbits' Ghost Light Bar in the theatre’s elevator lobby is open before the show and at intermission. After the July 25 performance, the public is invited to join the cast and crew for a talkback to discuss the show and ask questions.

Tickets are available online at Tibbits.org, through the Tibbits Box office at the theatre 9 am to 5 pm weekdays or by calling 517-278-6029. All performances are held at the beautiful historic Tibbits Opera House, 14 S. Hanchett Street, in Coldwater. For more information call or visit Tibbits.org.  

Tibbits has revamped its summer theatre schedule to respect social distancing guidelines and still offer the quality professional entertainment that has become synonymous with Tibbits Summer Theatre. Tibbits has added Plexiglas at points of sale, revised its seating, taken additional cleaning steps to ensure the safety of patrons and staff, and encourages the use of masks.

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