What is the #1 Best Seller on Amazon's "New
Release" list for drama? POWDER RIVER SEASON 8 - which isn't released
until Dec. 9th! Actually, CRT holds six titles on the top ten NEW
RELEASE BEST SELLERS list, along with the great LA THEATRE WORKS and the
BBC! Amazing and honored to be in such prestigious company! POWDER RIVER Season 8 on CD AMAZON
First day of our upcoming Zombie Horror show
DEAD AHEAD is in the can! This one is going to be quite frightening....
there were a couple of scenes tonight that were chilling (what I mean is, it's not often that things get scary watching the actors at the microphones) - I can only
imagine how terrifying they will be once music and sound
effects are added. The cast just knocked this one outta the park... some powerful performances. I
never thought we would do a Zombie feature - but being trapped with a
thousand Zombies on an Ocean Liner out at sea was pretty hard to turn
down. Can't wait for you all to hear it!! We are recording till Oct.
28th, and the release is planned for March. - JR
Jeff Gage and I have been re-working our musical THE STAR ANGEL for the
stage. Here is a song from the show that "Sean" sings with "Pockets" - a
tramp clown ornament (Sean finds himself with his sister ON the tree
this particular Christmas Eve... long story). Sean is having a rough
Christmas - the first since the death of his father. That's where the
song comes in... as Sean sees an old car ornament that was his dads
favorite. Will Fafard sings the role of Sean, and yours truly is filling
in for Pockets until we can find someone good. Keep your fingers
crossed that we get this on the stage for Christmas, 2015!
Since its release in 2008, and re-release by Brilliance Audio in 2012, TICONDEROGA has become one of our most popular titles. Set in 1758 during the French and Indian War, the production featured fictional characters against the backdrop of actual events - including the epic battle of Fort Carillon (complete with bagpipes and drums). We have received numerous requests to continue the story, which was released as a 9 hour audio drama feature.
We have listened - and we are going to produce a new series based on the characters we created. TICONDEROGA - The Series, will start at the same place the feature left us.Season 1 will have 12 half hour episodes.
It was in early July, 2006, when Ray Bradbury asked us to do SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES.
I once again asked Nancy Curran Willis to direct (she had directed our
first production for Ray, DANDELION WINE). Ray emailed me the script
from his SWTWC's stage version, I made some sound and music tweaks, set a
recording date for the end of August, and we had auditions in Ipswich.
This is where we found Anastas Varinos and Matt Robertson. We cast them
in the two leads - but the six other kids who showed up were really,
really good as well. On the ride home from the audition, I remembered
J.T. Turner a few weeks before, talking about Ray's book THE HALLOWEEN
TREE - which I had never read. We had the right number of kids for that
I called Ray and asked him if he had a script for that
one. I'll never forget him saying to me: "No - but this is what you do.
Buy the book, get a red pencil, cross out everything but the character
dialog, and you'll have your script!" And that is exactly what I did.
This was August of 2006 when the script was completed, and on Dec. 2, 2006, we recorded THE HALLOWEEN
TREE. The session took the entire day, and we were on the clock for it, as many of the boys were appearing in various Christmas shows
in Boston and had to be downtown for the evening curtains. Our cut off
time was not negotiable - we had to finish on time - and it was a big
script. Not an easy task - but the kids were pros and we got it done.
got some amazing performances out of the kids. I remember when (in the
show) they introduce who they are to each other... "MUMMY" "WITCH"
"MR.DEATH" - and Nancy's direction was "I want you to say who you are
the wayyour character would say it." And wouldn't you
know, the kid who said "MUMMMY" sounded like a mummy!? I know a mummy
can't speak, but if he did, I bet it would sound like the kid you'll
hear in the show!
The production did not go into editing until a
year later. I wanted to wait till we could upgrade our music program.
THE HALLOWEEN TREE needed an extensive score, and if there was a better
music program out there - I wanted it. So we saved for it, and got it. It was not easy sitting on it for a year; I knew we had something special.
was some criticism when the show was released due to the fact that
there are a few songs in the production. We always stick to book at CRT,
and in the book THE HALLOWEEN TREE, Ray writes how the tree sings -
and he even wrote the lyrics in the book. Jeff used those same lyrics
when he composed the songs (He was excited to see the sheet music "Music
By Jeffrey Gage, Lyrics By Ray Bradbury."
THE HALLOWEEN TREE was
released on October 1, 2008, two years after it was recorded, by Blackstone Audio. It won the Ogle Award
for Best Fantasy production of 2008. Blackstone did not enter it for an Audie consideration, which was a shame. I think we had a chance that year.
Everything just came together on
this one: the cast, the editing, the music. It continues to be a
popular item each Halloween Season and a best seller for Bradbury audios - even after six years in release.
The kids are all grown up now. Four of them that I am still in contact with are in college, another went on to star in movies and TV... the others I have lost contact with.
Bradbury was an incredible friend to Colonial - and he trusted us with four of
his most iconic works - to which I am forever grateful.
And I still have the book - with all the red lines through it.
CRT WELCOMES SGT. BILLY! We are VERY happy
announce that SGT. BILLY O'BRIEN is coming to CRT for a six episode
western comedy series, SGT. BILLY AND CORP. SAM - with "Sam" being CRT
favorite Sam Donato. Both appeared on the hit WBZ TV show BOOMTOWN
starring Rex Trailer - with Billy as Rex's side-kick for many years.
There's not a kid who grew up in New England from the 1960s to the early
1980's who does not know Sgt. Billy! He and Sam played the miners who
had a poor sense of direction in our 2007 production POWDER RIVER AND
THE MOUNTAIN OF GOLD. Bill is also a world class banjo player who
recorded for MGM records - and of course we'll have some fancy pickin'
and singin' in each episode. In real life - Bill was a member of the
U.S. Cavalry and rose to the rank of Sergeant,-just like his character
on the Boomtown show. Bill was also a member of The Honor Guard at his
Fort. SGT. BILLY AND CORP. SAM records next week and will be released in 2015. These are going to fun programs!
Need a laugh this Labor Day Weekend as we say
good-bye to summer? Download CRT's non-political political comedy, HAIL
ON THE CHIEF! Jerry Robbins and J.T.Turner (who is hilarious as King
Palamoa) will surely make you LOL - or as we said in the old days, LAUGH
OUT LOUD in this fun comedy by Michael B. Druxman.