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Parents and kids — lend us your ears:
L.A. Theatre Works’ ‘Family Collection’ offers
five plays for multi-generational listening
LOS ANGELES (May 21, 2020) — Best known as the world’s leading producer of state-of-the-art audio recordings of contemporary and classic plays, L.A. Theatre Works has put together a package of five productions that can be enjoyed by listeners of all ages. The L.A. Theatre Works ‘Family Collection’ offers a unique chance for parents and kids to close their eyes, use their imaginations and hang onto the words of William Shakespeare, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Neil Simon, H.G. Wells and bestselling young adult author Bruce Coville.
A mix of comedy, mystery and science fiction, the titles in LATW’s Family Collection are appropriate for all ages and offer a distinctive experience that is wholly different from hearing a story read aloud, listening to an audiobook or watching a performance.
According to producing artistic director Susan Loewenberg, “With audiobooks, you usually have only one person telling the story; with LA Theatre Works, there is a whole cast interpreting it for you. It’s a very rich, exciting experience — the recordings stimulate concentration and imagination. And listening together is a great way to experience these captivating stories.”
In the LATW recording of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a stellar cast brings Shakespeare’s world of wonder, magic, romance and comical misunderstandings to life. The fairy world: Glenne Headly as Titania, Jamie Bamber as Oberon and David Krumholtz as Puck; the lovers: Tara Lynne Barr as Hermia, Simon Helberg as Demetrius, Kira Sternbach as Helena and Brendan Bradley as Lysander; and the hilarious “mechanicals”: Héctor Elizondo as Peter Quince, Kyle Colerider-Krugh as Starveling, Logan Fahey as Flute, André Sogliuzzo as Tom Snout — and the inimitable Stacy Keach as Bottom, who awakes to find his head transformed into that of a donkey.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles dramatizes one of the most famous stories ever written, inspired by the legend of a fearsome, diabolical hound of supernatural origin. What better way to experience a Sherlock Holmes mystery than through the voices of Seamus Dever (ABC’s Castle) as Holmes, Geoffrey Arend (CBS’ Madame Secretary) as Dr. Watson, and James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Sir Henry Baskerville? Also in the cast: Grey’s Anatomy’s Sarah Drew as the mysterious and exotic Beryl Stapleton. Winner of the Publishers Weekly “Listen-Up Award” for Best Audiobooks in the Classics category, as well as an Audie® Award from the Audio Publishers Association.
What happens to children in the absence of love? Rich in the comedy for which Neil Simon is famous, his Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Lost in Yonkers tells the story of two young boys, aged 13 and 16, who must spend one year with their austere and demanding grandmother. The cast includes Barbara Bain as Grandma Kurnitz and The Simpsons’ Dan Castellaneta as Uncle Louis, with Gia Carides, Ben Diskin, Arye Gross, Roxanne Hart and Kenneth Schmidt.
Join actors from Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation as they recreate the classic radio thriller, War of the Worlds. The breathless pace and convincing details make it clear why the 1938 broadcast of an “eyewitness report” of an invasion from Mars caused a nationwide panic. Originally directed by Orson Welles and performed by his Mercury Theatre of the Air, War of the Worlds is an adaptation by Howard Koch of the novel by H. G. Wells. The L.A. Theatre Works recording stars Star Trek actors John de Lancie, Meagen Fay, Gates McFadden, Leonard Nimoy, Dwight Schultz, Armin Shimerman, Brent Spiner, Tom Virtue and Wil Wheaton.
Finally, in My Teacher is an Alien, a co-production with the BBC adapted from the novel by Bruce Coville, 6th grader Susan Simmons (Lisa Bonet) can tell that her new substitute teacher, Mr. Smith, is really weird. She doesn’t know just how weird — until she catches him peeling off his face! Can Susan and her friends prove that their teacher is from another planet before he completes his evil plan?
Each of the titles in the L.A. Theatre Works Family Collection can be downloaded as an mp3 digital file for $4.99, and is also available for purchase as a CD.
For more information, go to https://latw.org/family.