The coolest part of watching Plan-B Theatre Company’s near-annual Radio Hourproductions in person is seeing the physical performances of the voice actors as they contort their bodies and faces to bring the script to life–actions the listeners tuning in to the live broadcast on KUER don’t get to witness.
That remained true for this year’s edition, Fairyana, with fine and funny performances from Jay Perry, Teresa Sanderson and Jason Tatom, together delivering a wicked, hilarious script from Eric Samuelsen about the writers of a children’s show trying to come up with a truly special Christmas episode–at any cost.
All three actors are veterans of the Radio Hour series, and bring remarkable vocal dexterity to their roles. Perry’s Stan goes from befuddled lackey to confident loudmouth by hour’s end. Sanderson, so remarkable in Plan-B’s Eric(a) last season, deftly handles the voice of grizzled writer Viv, as well as the children show’s adult star, Amber. And Tatom is excellent as Max, the show’s producer, who’s narration gives the show a noir vibe that just adds to the laughs as the characters resort to increasingly over the top plans to come up with a script acceptable to Amber.
I won’t spoil the plot much here, since the curious can listen to a rebroadcast of the show Wednesday at 11 a.m. during RadioWest’s normal slot, or online at KUER.org through the month. Suffice to say, the absurd lengths Max goes to get a script out of Viv and Stan make for non-stop laughs during the hour. During the “season of Eric” that Plan-B is undertaking, producing a season of scripts penned by Samuelsen, it was fun to hear him deliver comedic dialogue with plenty of dark twists and witty one-liners.
The production includes original music composed and performed by David Evanoff, and sound effects from foley artist Michael Johnson that greatly add to the atmosphere. Take the time to give Fairyana a listen–it might not exactly put you in the holiday spirit, but it’s a hour of laughs that can only help your mood during the busy Christmas season.
Radio Hour Episode 8: Fairyana will rebroadcast on KUER 90.1 FM Wednesday at 11 a.m., and will be available on KUER.org through the holiday season. (Photo by Rick Pollock)