Thursday, February 3, 2011

One of the best: Damon Runyon Theater

In the late summer of 2001, just before the tragic events of 911, I fell ill with a mysterious aliment at the age of 38 - at least it was mysterious to me, for I had never felt that way before.  Things got worse and worse - eventually I was rushed to the hospital where I almost died of congestive heart failure.

It took me nearly a year to "bounce back"; I use that term loosely because I never really have recovered from it's effects.  As a matter of fact, the doctor tells me my heart is only at about 25% strength even today.

During my layoff and recuperation I went to the library and got all the Damon Runyon books they had.  Eventually, I read every one of his printed stories and enjoyed them as much as anything else I had ever read.

A few years ago, I came across the Damon Runyon Theatre on mp3.  Wow.  The stories are true to the stories in the books and done with the right amount of flair.

The Damon Runyon Theater is an anthology; while you are almost always guaranteed some humor and a teeny bit of mystery in each episode, you'll never know if the story will end up sad or in celebration.  All of the stories are set in the Roaring '20's and may be about horse racing or dancers or a Yale football game.

All are handled well.  John Brown, the elusive-yet-everywhere actor who's history has been sabotaged and visibly removed from us to see, plays the main part of Broadway, a street-wise, good-to-all fellow who peruses the streets and clubs of New York, trying to mind his own business.  But he's such a good guy and so well-liked that he winds up in everyone else's mess and is often blamed for such, when he actually had nothing to do with it.

Brown plays the character to perfection.  He reminds me of the Gillis character on The Life of Riley - except one with a lot of class.

The sound quality is very good on at least 90% of the episodes and all are incredibly enjoyable.  Definitely, one of my favorites.


  1. Again, I have to comment. We like Damon Runyon Theater as well. John Brown really good in this one. My wife likes the show somewhat better than I, but we both like it. I always like the end when he says he will tell us the rest of the story. By the way, sorry to hear about your health problem. For the last eight years I have been living with a pacemaker to make more lower chamber properly tick. I became a robot man. Back to Damon Runyon Theater. Must I say this show is part of my regular cue as well. I should explain, I have many in my regular cue. I load my ipod with about 100 shows and listen at night while in bed to the shows. Often fall asleep after a show or two. So my cue lasts a long time. After done with them, I load another set of pretty much the same shows. So when I say it is part of my regular cue, they are the ones repeatedly re-entered. I feel if we fall asleep during a show, a mission has been accomplished - a good night sleep. Sorry I went on and on.

  2. Thanks for your comment - as you should know, you are welcome to post to your heart's content. Sorry about your heart too, btw...

    One day I post my queue - I have one for each day and never finish the queue as their may be 20 or so on each day. But I will share that soon, I think you will find it interesting.

    NOthing better than falling asleep to OTR.


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