Saturday, April 26, 2014

“A Can of Vacuum” on the Golden Age Radio Hour

The L. Ron Hubbard Theatre, Golden Age Radio Hour
“A Can of Vacuum” performed April 14, 2014
Reviewed by
Thomas McNulty

This is my third and final post celebrating the historic
30th anniversary Writers of the Future Contest.
Once again, congratulations to all of the winners!

There is an oasis for theatre goers nestled on Hollywood Boulevard, just steps from Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and in the shadow of swaying palm trees. As the sun sinks in the golden west and the tourists begin shuffling away from the handprints and walk-of-fame stars of their favorite idols; and as the neon begins to glitter on the leaves of the jasmine trees and Australian ferns, they begin lining up at 7051 Hollywood Blvd. for the latest performance at the L. Ron Hubbard Theatre. As I write these words the Golden Age Radio Hour at the L. Ron Hubbard Theatre is Hollywood’s best kept secret, but that has already begun to change.

This is a hot ticket now. Word got out, and they come from all across the country to see these unique and highly entertaining shows. Ushered into the beautiful paneled confines, home to Author Services, the literary executors of Hubbard’s work, and Galaxy Press, the publisher, my wife and I mingled with this years winners of the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Awards while sipping a hardboiled glass of lemon water. The Theatre is on the first floor, while the fourth floor holds the main library where hundreds of original pulp magazines are on display along with dozens of international editions of Hubbard’s books.
The Jive Aces
Acting is storytelling with our bodies. It may very well be the first form of storytelling as ancient man gesticulated and grimaced in his effort to communicate. Years ago, when I interviewed film director Vincent Sherman, he told me that actor Peter Lorre believed that film acting was about “making faces.” This is essentially true. The best actors know how to “make faces.” As we chatted with friends, I was aware that already the actors backstage were preparing to “tread the boards.” The expression dates from the medieval era where traveling acting troupes would build wooden platforms in order for the audience to have a better view.
Cast Bios
This evening’s show was preceded by a musical performance by The Jive Aces, a six man Jump and Jive group who incorporate Swing Music and Rock and Roll into their high energy act. The Jives Aces were fantastic. They took us up one side of a musical wall, slid us around like a roller-coaster, crooned in our ear, made us laugh, made us cheer, and twirled us about. Their energy was contagious and their performance was exhilarating. Several people jumped up and danced spontaneously during the show.
After a break, we were served a thespian entree with actors R. F. Daley, Tom Ayers, Vince Caso, Skip Harris and Miles Vedder who gave a dramatic reading of L. Ron Hubbard’s 1949 story “A Can of Vacuum.” These are all professional actors with screen credits for film and television. Some modest special effects, a great story, and quality acting brought the story alive, and concluded with a standing ovation. R. F. Daley led the charge as the narrator, and Vedder, Harris, Caso and Ayers were perfectly cast and on their marks.
The L. Ron Hubbard Theatre is a small, intimate venue and reservations in advance are encouraged. Hollywood’s best kept secret is the hottest ticket in town. Affordable and entertaining, travelers with a taste for quality Theatre won’t want to miss The Golden Age Radio Hour at The L. Ron Hubbard Theatre. Also recommended: The Stories From the Golden Age audio book collection – this award winning series features actors reading the story as a form of “Radio Theatre” including sound effects and a musical background in the style of classic radio dramas.
For additional information call (323) 798-1635, or visit:

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