A New 'Radio From Downtown' Show

Van Williamson will host a
Van Williamson will host a "Radio From Downtown" show Saturday in Easton. ("Radio From Downtown")
By Lauren Wiseman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 16, 2006

"Radio From Downtown," a theatrical radio show, will return to the Avalon Theatre in Easton on Saturday. Van Williamson, producer of NPR's "Morning Edition," hosts the two-act variety show, which will air later on local stations.

The two-hour taping, which will be compressed into a one-hour radio show, will include comedy, improvised commercials and public service announcements; music by the nine-piece house band, the No-No Nonette; and a short interview with Marguerite Whilden, a terrapin conservationist from Annapolis.

The play in this production will address the proliferation of the northern snakehead, and Whilden will discuss her efforts to save the turtles in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Williamson created the show in 1989 out of his fascination with old-time radio programs. He has produced about 60 shows over the past 17 years. The last show was taped in September.

"I was working as a radio musician, and I always wanted to do something like this," he said. "It is a way to be on the radio and put on a show."

Williamson considers the audience to be important cast members. Throughout the performance, he holds up signs encouraging the audience to cheer, scream or laugh.

Other cast members include NPR's Carl Kasell and Susan Stamberg, local music group the Hula Monsters and harpist Dianna Douglas.

The taping will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Avalon Theatre, 40 East Dover St., Easton. Tickets are $25. For more information, call 410-822-7299 or visit http://www.avalontheatre.com .

For information about when the show will air, visit http://www.wryr.org .

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