Actor John Larroquette employs his deep tones and wry timing to bring "War of the Worlds" to life once more, tomorrow night at Hollywood Center Studios. When Orson Welles narrated H.G. Wells' terrifying fiction -- we stress fiction -- of outer space baddies landing and proceeding to run roughshod over the Eastern seaboard, people went berserk. The year was 1938, it was the day before Halloween and many listeners believed they were hearing an actual news report.
Why, one wonders? Media experts and historians have come up with a bevy of reasons, among them: the sound effects were chillingly real and the reports vivid, causing mayhem and terror to ensue. Oh, and Welles gained instant fame, and "War of the Worlds" has continued its reign as a sci-fi scare-a-thon, right up through the Tom Cruise flick a couple of years back. (We're thinking of that boat scene and going faint.)
Fake Radio, a gang of old-school wireless devotees, stages the 70th-anniversary reading. Fans of old-school television will be tickled to learn that the radio play takes place on the former "I Love Lucy" soundstage.
"War of the Worlds" read by John Larroquette
Saturday, October 25, 8PM
Hollywood Center Studios, 1040 N. Las Palmas Avenue, Hollywood