Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday's Favorite OTR

Damon Runyon Theater: “Baseball Hattie” 6/26/46

Damon Runyon’s wonderful short stories were a perfect match for radio—his fun, highly readable prose translated to the airwaves without any loss of humor or emotional impact.

Most of Runyon’s stories were comedies about gamblers and low-level criminals who hung around Prohibition-era New York City, but there were a few tragedies tossed into the mix. “Baseball Hattie” is one of those tragedies, a very human drama about a woman who marries an up-and-coming New York Giants pitcher. At first, it seems like the two are hopelessly in love and destined to live happily ever after. But when the pitcher becomes involved with gamblers, things go downhill fast.

It’s a soap opera-y story, but it’s an effective one, with both the dialogue and the acting bringing a real humanity to the proceedings. That it manages to pull an uplifting ending out of its inherent tragedy serves to make it that much better.

Click HERE to listen or download.

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