Just over ten years ago, local filmmaker and stage director donnie l. betts took a chance on radio drama, a medium some might deem obsolete, by reviving the works of Richard Durham, whose long run of live radio theater programs profiled cultural and historical African-American figures beginning in the late ´40s. The result was Destination Freedom: Black Radio Days, which brought back more than thirty of the plays over a span of years, sometimes with marvelous guest voices, including the suave musician and actor Oscar Brown, Jr. (We wrote about betts's dream-come-true and spoke with Brown back then). The broadcast stories, often recorded in front of a live audience, profiled a lot of important and vibrant folks, from Bill Robinson to Jackie Robinson, Frederick Douglass to Gwendolyn Brooks.
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It's been a while since we've heard from betts, but he's back tonight with Arctic Autograph, the story of black Arctic explorer Matthew Henson, who was Admiral Robert Peary's right-hand-man at the North Pole exactly 100 years ago, to be performed live at 8 p.m. at public radio KUVO's Phyllis A. Greer Studio, 2900 Welton Street. Musician Jimmy Trujillo and friends will contribute, as will a secret guest; limited seating for the studio audience is available by reservation (call 720-748-1388 or 303-480-9272). And if you're left out in the cold, the show will also stream in real-time at www.kuvo.org or www.kgnu.org. Learn more about Destination Freedom at www.blackradiodays.com.
For more ways to rock the night and kill the day, go to westword.com/calendar.