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CBSRMT Episode Information
The Love Song of Death
Love and hate are two sides of the same coin. In this tale of bigotry and hatred, two young lovers are sacrificed to end a blood feud between two noble houses.
Air Dates:
First Run - April 21, 1976
Repeat - May 11, 1977
Repeat - September 30, 1979
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4 Responses to Episode 0472

This is the Mystery Theater's adaptation of the Shakespeare classic "Romeo & Juliet." Everyone has heard of Shakespeare and the average person would say "Romeo & Juliet" if you asked them to name one of Shakespeare's works. I don't think they teach this stuff in 99% of schools these days so you would be hard pressed to get someone to explain any of these stories to you as most people don't know what they are about. Of course, Mystery Theater listeners, being of the more discerning variety when it comes to entertainment, are familiar with this story. But, in case someone is reading who has arrived here for enlightenment, the gist of the story is this: Juliet Capulet and Romeo Montague are two teenagers who belong to feuding families of the Hatfield and McCoy variety. Even their families' servants brawl when they encounter one another. These two fall in love and this, as you can imagine, creates problems for everyone involved. If they had cast this on "Dallas" then people might better know the story. Evaluating the way CBSRMT handles this production; I say "great!" Condensing this epic tale into a 45 minute program would be no easy task - nor would it be with any of these works. But, as one would expect, a great job in doing it was accomplished. Give a listen to this one - which includes Morgan Fairchild as Juliet.

I am listening to this during an online course on Shakespeare's plays. I am including the broadcast in my writing for the class and its assignment.

Another good adaptation of Shakespeare. It's been a while since I've read or seen this one, but it's all as I remember and covers all the main points.

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. I give Ian Martin props for writing a great adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play for radio and packed so much into it in one full episode. The Title suits well with the story and other titles could work such as, “A Plague On Both Your Houses” because Hate is the plague that caused the Montagues & Capulets to be at war with each other. Another title could work, “Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow” because Romeo & Juliet think about each other every time they leave & reunify. Or better yet, call it what it‘s really about: “Star-Crossed Lovers In Verona.” The sound effects of the servants fighting, trumpets, wind blowing, ballroom music, party guest murmuring, the doors, swords clang, and body thud were very supportive in this. The music was supportive as well; themes that expressed love, hate, despair, calamity, and sorrow. And let’s not forget the Orchestral Romeo & Juliet theme from Pyotr llyich Tchaikovsky. Now here’s why I rate this 4 out of 5 stars: E.G. Marshall made a mistake in his Prologue. He said that the stage play of Romeo & Juliet was written between 1694 and 1695. SPECIAL NOTE: William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and died in 1616; our Host was a century off. Other than that, his narrations were beneficial just like Cliff’s Notes. In ACT-1, he begins the CBSRMT episode where the play begins: Verona. Later on, the famous love scene ended and the dark tragedy begins. In ACT-2, it’s what we expected: Romeo is passionately in love and later flees after killing a member of the Capulets. In ACT-3, the 2 lovers are dead, but their story will never die. In his Epilogue, both families put their hatred aside and become friends too late. But the grandest part of all was our cast: Kristoffer Tabori (as Romeo Montague), Morgan Fairchild (as Juliet Capulet), Joan Shay (as Nurse & Lady Capulet), Robert Kaliban (as Mercutio & Friar Lawrence), Guy Sorel (as Prince Paris), and Earl Hammond (as Tybalt). Kudos to Guy Sorel & Earl Hammond for playing minor roles that was significant in the plot. Big props to Joan Shay & Robert Kaliban for each playing 2 roles. As I mentioned before, the grandest part, I was referring to Kristffer Tabori & Morgan Fairchild. I could imagine William Redfield & Marian Seldes playing the parts. Or even Jack Grimes & Joan Loring. But I think Kristoffer Tabori & Morgan Fairchild pulled it off on these memorable roles. Listen to the sound of their kiss at the 9-minute mark; very delicate. And listen to the way she says, “I love you” and the 13-minute mark and the way she gasps during the stabbing at the 39-minute mark; a dainty voice that works well in the story. If you’ve read the play in school, read its Cliff’s Notes, seen it on a theatre stage, watch the many different film versions of it (including WEST SIDE STORY), I highly recommend that you listen to this on old time radio. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)

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