Joel Daly, former La Grange resident and WLS-TV anchor, will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, in the AFTRA/SAG Senior Radio Players free comedy double-header show at the Claudia Cassidy Theater in the Chicago Cultural Center, Randolph and Michigan. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Daly will play Welby in The Fabulous Dr. Tweedy, from The Bum, originally broadcast on NBC Radio on June 30, 1946.
The other show that night will be Jane Thinks Mink from the Easy Aces series and broadcast Nov. 30, 1939, on NBC Radio.
The professional radio players re-create radio shows live on stage from the Golden Age of radio.
La Grange Patch asked Daly about theatre, radios shows and his connection to La Grange.
La Grange Patch: What are you doing now?
Joel Daly: I finished writing and self-published my "memoirs," which I donated to the Museum of Broadcast Communications. I work regularly as the Information Officer for the Federal District Court; and am actively auditioning for theater work.
Patch: What is the difference between television and theater work?
Daly: Television is a more intimate medium which discourages 'posturing.' Acting on stage requires projection and is fashioned by the role.
Patch: How long have you been involved in the theater?
Daly: I first appeared professionally in 1996 in To Kill a Mockingbird, as Atticus Finch. That performance was followed by lead roles in Oleanna and Grand View. I also produced and staged the one-person play about Clarence Darrow.
Patch: Tell us about the Radio Players?
Daly: I became involved with the Radio Players about 20 years ago when I learned the group was performing War of the Worlds, a radio play by Orson Welles which my roommate and I produced and performed while I was in college.
Patch: Are you a fan of Old-Time Radio?
Daly: You bet! I grew up before television listening to the radio. One of my favorite roles was playing The Lone Ranger—"Hi Yo Silver..."
Patch: What is required to be a good radio personality?
Daly: You need an "announcer's voice" if you are cast as "an announcer". Otherwise you fashion your presentation to the particular role.
Patch: What is your connection to La Grange?
Daly: I have lived in or around La Grange since my arrival in 1967. Our first home was one of Frank Lloyd Wright's early creations at 211 S. LaGrange Road. We now live in the Highlands.
Patch: What is your role in The Fabulous Dr. Tweedy?
Daly: I play Welby, a philosophical "tramp" who is befriended and defended by Dr. Tweedy, a college professor.
Patch: What is the appeal of the plays?
Daly: In my experience, "old time radio" appeals to all ages: to those, like me, who grew up with radio; to young people fascinated by the stories that come to life through the combination of voices and sound effects.
Patch: What is the timelessness and relevance?
Daly: Like old postcards and scrapbooks, the old shows remind us of a different time, particularly the war-time years. Life was simple and mostly sweet.
Patch: Do you have anything to add?
Daly: It is a thrill for me to work with many of the Chicagoans who actually created radio roles like "Captain Midnight", "Jack Armstrong" and "Ma Perkins," some of my favorite shows as a kid.
Patch: Thanks Joel! Good luck with the role.