By John Cook and Teri Loretto-Valentik
Directed by Teri Loretto-Valentik
Annual radio shows from Plosive Productions have become a popular tradition in the National Capital Region. The subject matter of the mock radio shows has varied from tales of Winnie the Pooh to a dramatization of Dashiell Hammett’s Maltese Falcon.
The 2017 radio show — the most powerful and effective offering to date — commemorates the two world wars, primarily through an exchange of letters between members of one family. As always, radio ads and musical interludes from the Gladstone Sisters (both with piano accompaniment and a capella) complete the presentation. And, as always, the fine singing from the Sisters, Robin Guy, Nicole Milne and Doreen Taylor-Claxton, is a highlight of the show.
For Voices from the Front, co-creators John Cook and Teri Loretto-Valentik have built a composite picture of one family through two generations by quoting from letters from those serving at the front and those who waited for them at home. As audience members hear the letters, they, too, wait for news from the front and fear that the father who served in the First World War or the son who served in the Second may not return.
The inclusion of famous speeches from Winston Churchill (made all the more powerful by Chris Ralph’s delivery), a dispatch of note from reporter Matthew Halton and such less well-known pieces as correspondence from a nurse at the war front add to the development of a more complete picture of the horrors of war.
Performances from the voice actors, particularly Ralph and Michelle LeBlanc, are further reasons that Voices from the Front: The Radio Show is a not-to-be-missed event. (The short run continues to November 11.)
Reviewed by Iris Winston, Photo courtesy of Plosive Productions
Director: Teri Loretto-Valentik
Set: Ivo Valentik
Sound: Melinda Roy
Lighting: David Magladry
Costume designer not listed
Cast of voice actors
David Whiteley (November 9)
Robin Guy (music director and pianist)