WGTD adds new life to old-time radio

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Todd Mishler | November 12, 2013

“I want to give the audience a hint of a scene. No more than that. Give them too much and they won't contribute anything themselves. Give them just a suggestion and you get them working with you. That's what gives the theater meaning: when it becomes a social act.”
  — Orson Welles
DELAVAN — They weren't called big bands for nothing, and many of the biggest names in the music and entertainment industry booked establishments in the Delavan Lake area as part of their Midwest tours in the 1930s and '40s.

That included Lake Lawn's Victory Ballroom, which hosted weeklong performances from the likes of the Lawrence Welk Band. Live radio broadcasts also were popular, including the Mutual Broadcasting Network through its Chicago affiliate, WGN.

In addition to music, many classic programs attracted audiences nationwide to find their favorite stops along the radio dial.

Writer-producers Steve Brown and Mike Ullstrup have been pushing their individual and collective creative envelopes in rekindling pieces of that tradition and nostalgia for nearly 10 years through their WGTD Radio Theater shows, based out of Gateway Technical College's studio in Kenosha.

And three of their four fall productions in 2013 are being held at Lake Lawn. In mid-September, they premiered their ongoing Professor series with “The New Jack Benny Show.” They have a holiday program planned Dec. 14.

However, the 91.1 Players' next event on Saturday, Nov. 16, will be “The Kane Shadow: The Walworth Murder,” which stars Kenosha native Orson Welles. The film noir-style show features three women approaching Welles about finding a close friend who is missing.

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