Two entertaining serial podcasts for summer binge-listening

Originally issued in weekly installments, the complete editions of two engaging serial podcasts are now available in full, so you can binge on them all at once, or listen to the individual chapters at your leisure. Both offer new takes on familiar tales and iconic characters, while updating the old-time genre of the radio play for our digital age and current COVID-19 quarantine.

For its first season, Don’t Sue Us, Please! – a new podcast service featuring daring original stories of fan-favorite superheroes from DC Comics – is presenting Wonder Woman: Spirit of Truth. In the four-part series, with each episode running just over a half hour, worlds collide as the women warriors and gods of ancient Greco-Roman mythology (the ultimate source on which all superheroes are based) meet the US Air Force. Will the sword, lasso of truth, and mega-powers of the Amazon Princess Diana of Themyscira triumph over modern-day American weaponry and torture? Will the formidable voices of women be heard? And who can resist ice cream? An ensemble of expressive voice actors, backed by evocative sound effects and music, bring the distinctive characters and their battles to life with drama and wit. Headphones are recommended for the full binaural experience of this “adventure for your ears.”

New York-based director and co-producer Kelly Monroe Johnston first suggested the serial-podcast format to writers Matthew Klein and John Petrie and helped them break their original full-length script into four episodes, reformatted as an audio drama. The team will continue to craft future seasons, each featuring one main story of a well-known character and others with lesser-known figures (like OMAC or Madame Xanadu), to explore further aspects of the popular DC Universe. Streaming of Wonder Woman: Spirit of Truth is free, but all donations made by listeners will go to First Responders Children’s Foundation to aid first responders and their families during the global pandemic.

As a benefit for The Actors Fund and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Broadway Podcast Network (BPN) – a leading purveyor of digital audio programming for the theater and performing arts – presents a podcast parody of Bram Stoker’s epic Victorian Gothic horror story Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors. Adapted in the style of a vintage 1940s radio play and released in four installments exclusively on the BPN, the laugh-out-loud reimagining, written by Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen, directed by Greenberg, and edited by Bart Fassbender, lampoons the creepiness of Stoker’s legendary vampire tale with screwball comedy that recalls the silly suggestive humor of Mel Brooks and Monty Python, and a funny feminist twist for current audiences.

The cast of Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors. Photo courtesy of Broadway Podcast Network.

The zany send-up is delivered by an all-star cast of fourteen Broadway favorites – Annaleigh Ashford, Laura Benanti, Alex Brightman, Kathy Fitzgerald, James Monroe Iglehart, Richard Kind, Jeff Kready, Rob McClure, Orville Mendoza, Ashley Park, Steve Rosen, John Stamos, and Alan Tudyk, led by Tony Award nominee Christopher Sieber as Count Dracula. Their comic vocal performances, featuring an array of well-feigned accents from England and America to Transylvania, were recorded from their homes in isolation and enhanced by eerie sounds and an original period-style score by Victoria Delorio.

These two top selections of revisited classics are sure to keep you enthralled and amused. And if you haven’t tuned in yet, don’t forget to listen to the entire three episodes of BPN’s powerful post-apocalyptic rock musical Bleeding Love, another riveting podcast series with another compelling cast.


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