Trouble on the air
It takes nothing more than a single pebble to begin the avalanche that ends your life in a rain of boulders. The avalanche could be metaphorical, the pebble a misinflected word, the life a solid career as a voice talent, the story performed live by Mical Trejo as Radio: 30, under the direction of Ken Webster at Hyde Park Theatre.
Trejo's no stranger to voicework: He's the drivetime DJ at Austin's Jammin' 105.9. He's also done character voices for popular animé shows Dai-Guard and Gun Crazy. For the latter, his sound engineer at Austin's ADV Studios was a man named Robert S. Fisher. In Radio: 30, Trejo's character Ron works with a sound engineer who's played by Robert S. Fisher.Ê
"It's great working with Robert again," says Trejo. "And we're both playing characters who do what we'd like to do in our real lives, to be able to have jobs like this jobs we'd do in our underwear, if possible."
Not that Fisher, or any of the other personnel at the late, lamented ADV studio, ever performed in their underwear. Not that such is the dress code at Jammin' 105.9. And not that Trejo, an Esther's Follies alumnus and one of the founding members of the Latino Comedy Project, isn't already doing much of what he'd like to do in his real life.
It was, after all, a real-life stint in the Big Apple that led to this production in the first place.
Radio: 30, in which a normally unflappable voice talent loses, well, pretty much loses his shit during the recording of a radio commercial, was written by Chris Earle, a Canadian playwright whom Trejo discovered while performing at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2004. "I was up there for Lowell Bartholomee's Blah, Blah, Blah," says Trejo, "and Radio: 30 was one of the other shows going on. And it was a brilliant piece it was funny, it was tragic; I could totally relate to the situation. So I tracked the playwright down, got his permission, hooked up with Ken Webster, and here it is."
Well, here it is again, following Trejo, Fisher, and Webster's HPT presentation of the show in April of last year. Which is the reason behind this preview, the instigating factor whereby we hope the show will be inundated, as if by an avalanche, with theatregoers: We've seen it already. We've witnessed it, with Trejo in the spotlight, the only man onstage; with Robert Fisher unseen but very present in the control booth; with a pitch-perfect rendering of emotional breakdown in the recording studio, a stunning evocation of the boulders of catastrophe that can follow a single pebble-sized faltering.
This production of Radio: 30 is 60 minutes of wracked sympathy and schadenfreude that we can't recommend highly enough.
Radio: 30 runs July 13-Aug. 5, Thursday-Saturday, 8pm, at Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd. For more information, call 479-PLAY or visit www.hydeparktheatre.org.