When is the last time you watched a stage play? Better yet, when is the last time you listened to one performed on radio? If you haven’t yet experienced a radio play broadcast, now is your chance as WMNR Fine Arts Radio will air a production of Dial L for Latch-Key as performed by the ‘By the Time I Get to Tucson Players’ Friday, April 11th at 9 p.m. (Link below)
In the tradition of the great Alfred Hitchcock, writer Scott Fivelson (American Reel, Three Holes Two Brads and a Smoking Gun) crafted his stage play, Dial L for Latch-Key, as a satirical ode to Dial M for Murder with his own personal twist. (Published by Hen House Press)
The play has been performed on two London stages; the New End Theater and Upstairs at the Gatehouse Theater as well as the Phoenix Theater in San Francisco. James Torme, son of the legendary Mel Torme starred in the Upstairs at the Gatehouse production. The radio play has aired on stations in London, Tucson, Arizona, and Portland, Maine, and an excerpt of Dial L; the stage play, has been featured on Suspense Magazine’s Suspense Radio.
The one-act-five scene play centers around a murder mystery, of course. The suspect, Raymond, is preparing to leave town. He believes himself to be getting away ‘Scott-free’ since his wife, G, was arrested for the crime. Enter the Inspector and Bob, a perceived dimwitted new boyfriend of G’s. The inspector brings G and Bob back to the mansion where the crime took place under the guise of her showing them exactly what happened and in her own words. A little mayhem ensues, and strange occurrences are noted such as the large steamer trunk Raymond is trying to take with him. Just what is in that trunk? The style is reminiscent of earlier decades of the bygone days of classic Hollywood. Hitchcock himself makes a cameo; something Fivelson points out is expected. “Well, you know, Hitchcock found a way of working a cameo in for himself in just about every film he ever made. In “Dial L,” I couldn’t let Hitch down by not letting him make an appearance.”
So what inspired this homage? “Well, Hitchcock’s movie of ‘Dial M for Murder’ was an adaptation of the Frederick Knott stage play of the same name. So it was a classic drawing-room mystery that Hitchcock was working with… I think it was the part where the kaleidoscope is swirling, or the colors were changing — something like that — behind Grace Kelly when she’s on trial in this wonderful, fantastical sequence — quite unlike the drawing-room scenes — that made me think — “What this needs is a little more Salvador Dali!”
Dial L is quite fun and entertaining. If you enjoy audiobooks, you’ll surely enjoy this new classic.
Dial L for Latch-Key airs April 11th (2014) on WMNR’s Fine Arts Radio Friday Evening Classics at 9 p.m. Click here to link to the live stream.
Credits are as follows:
DIAL L FOR LATCH-KEY: The Radio Play Written and Directed by Scott Fivelson
Performed by the By the Time I Get to Tucson Players
Phil Gordon as the “Inspector” and as “Hitch”
Jesus Limon as “Raymond” and as “The Man Who Knew Too Much About Hitchcock”
Brian Levario as “Bob”
Colleen Zandburgen as “G”
Douglas Grant as the “Narrator”
Engineered by Jim Glinski
Recorded at JTG Studios in Tucson, Arizona
“Dial L for Latch-Key: The Radio Play” is available from Blackstone Audio at Amazon.com, Audible.com, and other sites where audiobooks are sold.