One of my favorite things about Halloween in New York is going down to an old church in the West Village at night to see Radiotheatre bring some of the best horror tales to life. Set against a macabre backdrop, incredible voice actors tell tales by Poe, Lovecraft, Derleth, and others, accompanied by scary sounds and audio effects. I've been going for years and it's been an incredible experience. The critically acclaimed Radiotheatre is in its 17th year in New York City. Since its inception, the theater has won the Innovative Theater Award 3 times, the Best Performance Group 6 times, and has been nominated for the Drama Desk Award.
Unfortunately the event has been closed in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic but that doesn't mean the fun is over. They have been releasing performances of their award winning shows.
“By now the whole world is quite aware of the terrible plague that has descended upon us and like most theater groups, we, too, at Radiotheatre have been forced to cancel our live productions most probably through the end of 2020. MEANWHILE….to help entertain those of you who, like us, must stay behind closed doors for now…we will release albums of Radiotheatre’s LIVE PERFORMANCES within the 200 years old St. John’s Sanctuary located in Greenwich Village, NYC!”
For fans of Edgar Allan Poe, the group has their Annual Edgar Allan Poe Festival: Volumes 1 & 2 Online :
"There’s one guest who’s still welcome in our homes: Edgar Allan Poe! To coincide with its Annual Edgar Allan Poe Festival, Radiotheatre is releasing two volumes of stories, each with 10 of Poe’s best tales of terror from past festivals (with original orchestral scores + award-winning sound FX) told live before audiences. These are not merely old-time radio re-creations nor readings of classic stories, but, unique, theatrical adaptations performed before audiences with great professional casts, original orchestral scores and a plethora of award-winning sound FX... just bring your imaginations! If you love Poe and classic tales of terror, won't you help to keep Radiotheatre alive through these hard times? We promise you won't be sorry..."
The Cask of Amontillado
The Tell Tale Heart
The Masque of the Red Death
The Oval Portrait
The Black Cat
The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar
The Fall of the House of Usher
Ms. Found in a Bottle
The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Feather
The Premature Burial
The Oblong Box
The Fall of the House of Usher
For the fans of the morbid mysteries of Alfred Hitchcock, they also have a recording of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Playhouse Online :
"Before Hitchcock scared the living daylights out of movie audiences with The Birds, The 39 Steps, and Strangers on a Train, they were first produced as suspenseful radio dramas. Radiotheatre’s Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Playhouse collects 10 of these edge-of-your-seat tales — recorded live with music and sound effects — and brings them to life in the scariest place imaginable: your mind! These are not merely old-time radio re-creations nor audio book readings—they have adapted original 1940s radio dramas of stories later made famous in Hitchcock’s movies… just bring your imagination!"
If your tastes run to cosmic horror, check out their rendition of Lovecraft's work:
Audio performance group, Radiotheatre, is both award winning and acclaimed by critics (“Phantasmic!” — New York Times). Now in its 17th year in NYC, Radiotheatre is offering ten of its greatest audio hits, recorded live before audiences during its long-running series of H.P. Lovecraft festivals! These aren’t just recreated performances of old-time radio shows, nor audiobook readings. They’re unique theatrical adaptations with great casts, original scores and superb sound design. Just bring your imagination!
The Call of Cthulhu
The Horror At Red Hook
The Beast in the Cave
The Evil Clergyman
The Curse of Yig
The Shadow Over Innsmouth
The Music of Erich Zann
The Lurking Fear
The Moon Bog
The Rats in the Wall
Two Black Bottles
The Transition of Juan Romero
The Thing on the Doorstep
The Horror at Martins Beach
Finally, for those who prefer classic sci-fi, check out their Sci-Fi Festival Online collection :
"Now in its 17th year in NYC, Radiotheatre, the award-winning, critically acclaimed (“Phantasmic!” The New York Times) audio performance group, presents Radiotheatre’s Sci-Fi Festival, including three full-length classic tales (over 3.5 hours) recorded LIVE before audiences in NYC. These are not merely old-time radio re-creations nor audio book readings, but unique theatrical adaptations performed LIVE on stage. In these classic science fiction tales, man attempts to go where no man has gone before! Included are the Drama Desk Award nominated Frankenstein, the twice Innovative Theater Award winner H.G.Wells’ The Time Machine and the fan favorite, H.P.Lovecraft’s Reanimator! All complete with fine casts, original scores, and superb sound design. Just bring your imagination!"
Each set contains hours of scary fun and they're only ten bucks a pop!