“Houdini” radio broadcast wins national awards

Adding to recent international awards, the radio drama broadcast “Houdini’s Secret Life” has now picked up national awards. Every Now and Then Theatre and Conejo Players Theatre’s joint presentation, celebrity hosted by actor-producer-writer Joe Mantegna, aired over Halloween 2017 on Ventura County’s NewsTalk 1590 KVTA. “Houdini” dramatized lesser known aspects of America’s first super hero, including WWI spy, fraud buster, humanitarian, government witness, and possible murder victim.

Recently the broadcast won the International MUSE Gold Creative Award and the International COMMUNICATOR Silver Award of Distinction.

“Our all-volunteer Every Now and Then Theatre is in our 28th year, now with 47 total awards,” said the troupe’s National Representative Maria Laing. “Locally, our productions help benefit children by providing broadcast copies to cast in exchange for their donations to KVTA radio’s drive for Children’s Services Auxiliary of Ventura County. And now nationally, were helping children by offering a selection of previous broadcasts for Christmas and Halloween, including ‘Houdini,’ to radio stations nationwide in exchange for their donations to the Conejo Valley Kiwanis Foundation.

These donations benefit both the local effort and the Kiwanis International Children’s Fund programs including backpacks with school supplies, holiday gifts, college scholarships, the Bumblebee Foundation, Kiwanis International Project to Eliminate Maternal/Neonatal Tetanus, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer, as well as the Children’s Services Auxiliary of Ventura County.

“Houdini” Celebrity Host and cast member Joe Mantegna is perhaps best recognized by TV viewers as David Rossi in the hit series, “Criminal Minds.”

Among “Houdini” participating radio drama actors are members and graduates of Hollywood’s famed Magic Castle. At the breaks, Merlin Pharmacy’s Paul Dwork challenges listeners with mind reading. Magic Castle member and Houdini enthusiast Bob Lynn served on the script review committee and provided magic spinner coins for the cast. Lynn donated his broadcast copy to the Magic Castle library. Musician Michael Masley provided atmospheric cymbalom music for the séance sequences. Every Now and Then Theatre selects top local actors countywide and mixes them with promising beginners. The troupe can be found by name on Facebook and on the web at www.everynowandthentheatre.com.

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