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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Colonial Radio's Next Big Thing- Zorro!

Jerry Robbins just amazes me. As soon as Colonial Radio Theatre comes off one production, he just seems to take a quick breath, and dives right into the next big endeavor. Captain Blood, Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes...I'm not even scratching the surface of all the Colonial productions out there. What's up next? Zorro! From the Colonial blog:

"...Colonial has teamed with producer John Gertz to bring ZORRO to the world of audio drama! Mr. Gertz owns the copyright to Zorro (which was aquired by his father in 1940 from Zorro's actual creator,Johnston McCulley), and he was co-producer on the recent motion pictures with Antonio Banderas. The book I am dramatizing for audio is ZORRO AND THE PIRATRE RAIDERS, and let me tell you - this is going to be one exciting story! I am finishing up the script now, and I hope to start production in January for a Springtime release. The show is being produced in episode form for radio, and will be released as a 2 CD set for retail."

By now you all should know the high quality productions of Colonial Radio, and this will be no different I'm sure. I'm excited for this- get me on a pre-order list!

26 comments:

DRM said...

THIS SHOULD BE AN OUTSTANDING ZORRO PRODUCTION, I WORKED HARD TO GET ZORRO PRODUCTIONS AND COLONIAL RADIO TOGETHER TO DO THIS RADIO DRAMA. - DRM.

Anonymous said...

Please tell us Zorro Productions got Duncan Regehr to be the voice of Zorro/Don Diego?!?

J. Crebbs said...

Unfortunately not. According to Audiodramatalk.com Colonial Radio Theater is NOT going to use Duncan Regehr. I think Zorro fans should start a campaign to have a radio drama starring Duncan Regeher. According to Jerry Robins at Colonial (via audidramatalk.com) there is another writer out there who started this whole quest to have Zorro on radio. He evidently penned a Disney style script. According to the website the script "needed a lot of work." Yet it sounds like the script had the approval of Zorro Productions since the guy was shopping it around. If that is so, it must not have been TOO badly written; in fact it was probably pretty darn good. The folks at ZP just don't give the OK to just anything. It was probably more likely that Colonial just wanted to do their own writing and not pay some outsider. Let's hope the Colonial version is a good show. But everyone who wants to hear Duncan Regehr as Zorro should start a petition and send it to Zorro Productions. I think you take the two styles of Disney and New World and mesh them together with Duncan Regehr voicing Zorro and you have something special. It would be the pinnacle of Zorro and radio drama. Maybe there is another drama company out that would be interested in making the script of this "other" writer into a series.

J. Crebbs

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Crebbs,
I am sorry, but you could not be more wrong in your assumptions. Colonial did NOT "just want to do our own version." Before we were contacted by the gentleman with the script, and then by John Gertz, President of Zorro Productions, I had never given a thought to producing an audio version of Zorro.

We were given several books that Zorro Productions wanted to have dramatized. The script that was originally presented to us, based on a Disney episode, was not something that I felt would work as an audio drama for several reasons. From what I understand, the author of the script was told by ZP that if he found an audio company interested in producting the show, then they would consider it. I do not wish to go into any more details here in this forum, but your thoughts on what "could have" transpired, did not transpire.

You are correct that Zorro Productions does not give their OK on just anything, and that is why they presented me with the stories they would like to see produced. At this point they very easily could have stayed with the original Disney version script and looked for another producer.

The "Colonial version" is 100% dramatized from the book we were given, so it is Zorro Productions version, not mine.

Based on the budget we have with Zorro productions, it is IMPOSSIBLE to even consider bringing in Duncan Regehr. I hope you do not encourage a "write in" campaign, because it's just not going to happen. We record in Boston, the production will take several weeks to record, and the idea of flying in an actor and putting him up in a first class hotel for a month or two while we record the show is more money than we have for the entire production.

We have also made an agreement with the author of the original script that started this arrangement ... so your claim that CRT was going around him and writing our own script so we did not have to pay him is totally untrue.
Colonial does not operate that way.

I hope this answers your questions and puts the rumors to rest.

Jerry Robbins
President
Colonial Radio Theatre on the Air

Anonymous said...

As the writer of the “original” script perhaps I can clarify things a bit in regard to the upcoming Zorro radio adventure. First let me start by saying that I truly believe that this will be the best full-cast Zorro radio drama EVER done – BAR NONE! Colonial Radio Theater on the Air came highly recommended. So if I may, let me start at the beginning. I approached Mr. John Gertz at Zorro Productions. I felt that a Zorro radio drama would be a wonderful addition to the world of audio drama. He graciously allowed me to pen a story and seek out a company that would have an interest in putting Zorro on the air.

I wrote an original story based primarily on the cast of characters from the Disney TV series. I included concepts from Johnston McCulley’s original story “The Curse of Capistrano” as well as the New World Zorro TV series.

I approached a radio drama production company in the United States that is regarded as one of the finest in the world. As it turned out Zorro is one of their all time favorite characters but they did not have an opening in their production schedule for another show due to the number of shows they were already producing. They did, however, wish to read the script so I provided it to them. I was told that they did “like the script.” They felt it would make “a good pilot” and “it was a lot of fun.” At that point this company HIGHLY recommended Colonial Radio Theater and Jerry Robbins. I approached Colonial Radio Theater. We had several communications. During this time I was in constant contact with ZP. I recommended that ZP contact Jerry at CRT to discuss further the possibility of bringing Zorro to life on the air waves. My script did not work for Colonial (which is fine) because a first rate Zorro radio drama is still coming to fruition.

Let me make it perfectly clear that Jerry Robbins and Colonial has NOT gone around me and has NOT given me the shaft. We do have an agreement in place. I am very thankful to both John Gertz of Zorro Productions and Jerry Robbins of Colonial Radio Theater. Both have been outstanding to work with.

As for Duncan Regehr… he did a wonderful job as Zorro on the NW TV series. He has a great Zorro voice. I know Zorro fans the world over adore him for his portrayal of Zorro. Maybe someday he will be the voice of Zorro again, who knows, but not on the CRT version.

I would ask Zorro fans everywhere to give the Colonial Radio Theater Zorro a chance.
I think fans of Zorro and truly going to LOVE this show. Colonial does EXCELLENT radio shows. Jerry Robbins is a very, very good writer. Give this a listen! You’ll be glad you did. After you hear Zorro and the Pirate Raiders I think you will join me in saying: “Zorro rides again!” This will be the BEST Zorro radio production ever!!!

Daryl M.

Daryl M. said...

Let me just add this thought too.

After you hear "Zorro and the Pirate Raiders" I am convinced you'll be looking forward to more Zorro features by Colonial Radio Theater on the Air.

Daryl M.

Anonymous said...

I hope the Colonial Production ROCKS!!! But someone PLEASE tell me that a radio group is going to pick up the other guy's script. I really want to hear a revival of the Disney show. Hopefully either Colonial with work with the guy to get it done or somebody else will make him a deal. Give us, the hundreds of thousands of Zorro fans out here some Disney Zorro!!!

Gary Smith

Anonymous said...

Disney Zorro on radio. Count me in! Sign the guy up!!!!!!!

Michael Johns
Zorro Fan

Anonymous said...

I just found this site and I am really, really excited about a ZORRO radio show. It's full cast I hope. I think the Disney tv series was the best written so a Disney radio drama would be great. I really loved the romance factor of the Family Channel show too. (Sorry, it's a girl thing.) If you put the two together it would be the best of both Zorros. So I hope someone will make the other guy's script into a radio show too.

I've never heard of Colonial Radio. I hope they are good. Does anyone know what else they do?

Pam P.

Anonymous said...

The Family Channel (New World) Zorro was just ok. Duncan Regehr was the show. Patrice Martinez was sweet as Victoria. Disney was a far superior TV series. Much, much better writing and show concepts. I agree, take the romance of the NW Zorro and integrate it into the Disney concept (as long as the acting is good) and you have an amazing TV series.

I don’t think Zorro on radio has ever been done. It’s about time. I’ve never heard of Colonial Radio Theatre either but I hope their production of Zorro is first rate. I’m with the other guy (Gary). I want to hear the other guy’s Disney story. I hope somebody gives it a shot. Is there somewhere I can read his script? I’d like to know more about the story.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to hear the Colonial show too. But Disney is where it’s at.

Kevin K. Krantz - #1 Zorro fan.
Disney Fan

Jerry Robbins said...

ZORRO AND THE PIRATE RAIDERS will have the feel and style of the Disney Zorro; the book we dramatized from was written that way. It is not from a Disney script, but a novel, but I promise you a grand adventure with a rousing orchestra.

To ansewer Pam's question, Colonial has been around for 13 years, and we have produced over 240 audio productions, including many westerns and historical programs.
We have been working with Ray Bradbury since 2006, and so far have produced three of his books as audio plays, with a fourth now in the planning stage.
~Jerry Robbins
Colonial Radio Theatre
Boston MA
www.colonialradio.com

Anonymous said...

Mr. Robbins,

I'm glad to hear that you will be producing a Zorro radio drama and that it will have a Disney feel. I look forward to it as I'm sure all Zorro fans do. There seems to be a lot of talk about the writer who came to you and his script. It sounds like a lot of people are interested in it being produced as well as your show. (I would have to throw myself into that category too.)Is there any chance that you might consider a re-write of his script and produce it in addition to "Pirate Raiders"?

Craig Peterson

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge Zorro fan. I loved Disney and New World both. I hope the person this Colonial theater uses to play Zorro has a voice quality similar to Guy Williams or Duncan Regehr. Both were handsome and had great Zorro voices. I've never read Zorro and the Pirate Raiders. I hope it's one of Johnston Mcculley's better stories. Some of his works were a little shaky and his story history wasn't the best. Many times it was who knows Zorro's true i.d. this week, his father, Bernardo, Juan, the pirate Bardosa(?).

I would also be interested in hearing the other writer's story. You can't get enough Zorro. Maybe he can find someone to produce his story(s)anyway.

I understand that Colonial theater isn't using Duncan Regehr but I'm positive a production with him would be a number one seller. A radio series with him would rival the success of Louis L'Amour theater. That said, I wish Colonial the best. I hope your's is great and you sell a million cds.

Sarah K. Swanson

Anonymous said...

I AGREE WITH THE PERSON ABOVE JOHNSTON MCCULLEY LEFT A LOT TO BE DESIRED AS A WRITER. MANY OF HIS STORIES JUST DON'T HIT THE MARK. HE HAD A GREAT IDEA BUT JUST DIDN'T PUT IT ALL TOGETHER.

THE NEW WORLD TV SERIES WAS NOT GOOD. ACTUALLY IT WAS BAD, REAL BAD. IT'S HARD TO SAY WHICH WAS WORSE THE WRITING OR THE ACTING. THE STORY LINES WERE PATHETIC. NW HAD SUCH POTENTIAL BUT THEY JUST NEVER PUT THE PIECES TOGETHER.

DISNEY WAS SPOT ON WITH HIS INTERPRETATION OF ZORRO. GREAT STORY LINES, GREAT ACTING, GREAT SHOW!

I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR ZORRO TO BE ON RADIO. I'LL GIVE THIS COLONIAL PLACE A TRY. HOPE IT'S GOOD.

I WILL ALSO SAY I THINK THERE IS ROOM FOR MORE THAN ONE ZORRO ON THE AIR. IF THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WRITER OUT THERE WITH THE APPROVAL OF ZP THEN WHY NOT DO A REWRITE IF THE SCRIPT NEEDS A LITTLE HELP. IF THAT DOESN'T WORK THERE MUST BE ANOTHER PLACE THAT WOULD DO IT. HOW ABOUT A RADIO STATION? ZORRO FANS LOVE ZORRO. THE MORE SHOWS THE BETTER.

KATIE E.

Anonymous said...

I'll say it again. Give us Disney style with Duncan Regehr and it's the best show on the air. It will out sell anything Colonial Radio does - hands down. Sarah's right no doubt about it. A Regehr voiced Zorro radio drama is going to challange Louis L'Amour for all-time most popular modern western radio drama. And I still say give the other guy a shot. It must have been pretty darn good story to get Zorro Productions attention. Why not rework it and air it? If Colonial doesn't want it maybe they could give the guy a recommendation to a production company that would give it a shot. There must be a place out there who would do it even if it does need a little work. I hear Duncan Regehr lives out west (maybe Oregon) Maybe LA Theater Works. There has to be someone out on the Pacific Coast that would do it. It's obivious - the fans want to hear it.

J. Crebbs

Martin said...

Personally I hope that whoever is doing the radio Zorro, brings his own
interpretation to the role, and doesn't slavishly adhere to what another actor sounded like in the part.

Anonymous said...

Zorro fans over the last 50+ years have become accustomed to a certain tone of voice along with voice qualities and characteristics made popular by Guy Williams of the Disney Zorro TV series and by Duncan Regehr of the Family Channel TV series. Zorro fans want what they’re accustomed to NOT some new interpretation. Williams and Regehr are the standard. It’s similar to Sherlock Holmes. Basil Rathbone is the standard. Successful radio shows have always emulated the sound of his voice and speech characteristics. Consider Hercule Poirot, David Suchet is the standard. Hence the BBC uses John Moffitt who sounds like Suchet to portray the character of Poirot on radio. Their series is immensely popular but would it be if they used a new interpretation? Just ask Maurice Denham who sounds like Peter Ustinov. He portrayed Poirot in "The Mystery of the Blue Train" for the BBC but that was the only time. Ustinov was not overly popular as Poirot and neither was Denham. Giveing fans what they're accustomed to contributes to the success of a radio show that was once a TV show. When you speak of Zorro, who comes immediately to mind for most Zorro fans? It’s either Guy Williams or Duncan Regehr. Sorry Antonio Banderas doesn’t even enter into the conversation. He wasn’t really Zorro anyway just an imitation replacement. Real Zorro fans want someone that sounds similar to Williams or Regehr.

Rachel

Jerry Robbins said...

I have a feeling, Mr. Crebbs that no matter what CRT produces in the line of ZORRO, you will not be happy with it, as you are so determined to have Duncan Regehr or no one, and the original script, which, as I recall, was not a complete script. It seems you did not read, or understand, my explaination in my previous entry. You are so determined to have someone else produce this script, and we haven't even begun recording yet! I will let the project speak for itself when it is completed. Perhaps if you ask him, drm will send you his script and you can see if you can get LA Theater Works to produce it. In the meantime, I have a show to produce. Cheers, JR

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Robbins,

Let me make one thing perfectly clear. I look forward to your production of Zorro eagerly. I welcome your rendition of Johnston McCulley's "Pirate Raiders." I truly hope this is the best radio production of an action adventure since George Lucas made the Star Wars series into radio dramas. I hope yours is comparable to what Lucas did. I hope you sell a billion cd's. I hope you do a series of Zorro productions for years to come and I hope the "guy" that brought you and Zorro Productions together and is "on board with you" gets a paycheck for every Zorro story you do. I have nothing against you or Colonial Radio Theatre. I do believe however, that there are a lot of Zorro fans out here that want to hear the other guys story too, even if it does need a little work. Just read the other comments in the form. It's no knock on you. Zorro fans want just want ALL the Zorro they can get. That's fine if you don't want to do it. If someone else would, great. I don't know how to contact DRM but if I did I might just ask him if I could help him find someone to produce his script. I'd love to read it. I'd love to hear it and it sounds like everyone else would too. If that offends you, sorry.

No one truly cares if you don't use Duncan Regehr. It's no insult to you. It just shows how much people enjoyed him as Zorro and how much they respect him personally. It's just a fact that if he voiced a Zorro radio production it would be a huge seller. Why? Just because fans love him, Period. He's just near and dear to the hearts of Zorro fans and his fan base is in the millions worldwide. That doesn't mean your production is going to be bad. It doesn't mean fans don't want to hear it or buy it. It just is what it is.

I wish you the best. Hope your Zorro is great. Hope it comes out soon.

J. Crebbs

Anonymous said...

I would hope that fans of the character "Zorro" would be supportive of Mr Robbins' production regardless of whom he has to be the voice of Zorro/Don Diego. If his program is a success (and it will take listeners to make it so) then maybe it will leave room for the possibility of a 'West Coast' Zorro radio program -- and then perhaps those people who would like to hear Duncan Regehr voice Zorro would get their wish. I, for one, say, kudos to Jerry Robbins for taking this on - and to Daryl M for initially writing a script and launching the whole idea in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I found your Zorro discussion today and just wanted to say that I look forward to the Colonial Radio release of Zorro and the Pirate Raiders. Colonial does good work. I'm really looking forward to this. I hope there will be a press release when the release date nears. I can't wait to hear their voice of Zorro. Way to go Jerry Robbins!!!

I would absolutely love to hear Duncan Regehr reprise his role of Zorro on radio. I hope that the original writer finds a production place on the west coast and Duncan Regehr would take the role. I hope John Gertz of Zorro Productions would see the marketability of Duncan Regehr as Zorro again and endorse that radio version too. Mr. Regehr has millions of fans worldwide that would I'm sure make this a very profitible venture for a radio broadcast, cd sales, downloads, etc. So here's to Zorro. ZZZ!

C. Bragg

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of Colonial Radio Theater but then again I've never heard a radio drama. I love Zorro so I'll tune in if it's on the radio! And if it's good I'll probably buy it, if it comes on a cd.

I loved Guy Williams as Zorro. What a great Zorro! Duncan Regehr was a close 2nd though the storylines weren't the best on his show. Having Victoria Escalante as a romantic interest was a stroke of genuius. If the writing would have been better this series would have rivaled Disney in quality.

Perhaps Duncan Regehr will get a change to be Zorro once again. His voice quality is just amazing! He was great a Dracula in the Monster Squad too. Great voice!!!

I hope this idea of Zorro coming to life on radio is a success for any company that produces it.

To Colonial: The best of luck!

To Duncan Regehr: May we hear you as Zorro someday too!

LG

Anonymous said...

I know the original script writer. He has another Zorro radio drama script that would give the New World Zorro TV series a conclusion. Zorro fans should see if he would try to have this made into a radio drama. Maybe Duncan Regehr would consider voicing a radio show based on his Zorro TV series.

CBG

Anonymous said...

The picture on this blog site says it all! Who is Zorro in the minds of fans? Guy Williams! Period! Only one other actor in the last 50 years even comes close to duplicating the performance of Guy Williams and that is Duncan Regehr. He is reminisant of Guy Williams having the same on screen characteristics and voice quality. That is a big reason why fans of Zorro are calling for Duncan Regehr to voice a Zorro audio play.

Anonymous said...

I would love to hear Duncan Regehr voice the role of Zorro. As far as a Disney styled radio version goes he may be the only person in the world who could fill the shoes of Guy Williams and do the role justice. For him to do so would without a doubt be a delight for fans of Duncan Regehr and Zorro. SO MR. REGEHR WHERE EVER YOU ARE, PLEASE DO ZORRO FOR US!

Sherri Servey

Anonymous said...

I’ve been reading the Colonial Radio blog, this site and another one trying to find out when this Zorro radio drama is going to be released. It’s been about a year and a half since the big announcement that Colonial is doing Zorro. Yet it seems we’re still no closer to this becoming a reality. I’m starting to think Colonial isn’t ever going to get around to making Zorro and the Pirate Raiders. I was all for Colonial at first and wasn’t interested in all this Duncan Regher talk, even though he was an outstanding Zorrro. But now I’m ready to say if Colonial isn’t going to get it done soon, forget it. Zorro Productions should get a west coast radio station or production company to make “Pirate Raiders.” Or maybe they should go back to their original plan and use the story from the guy who got this whole thing going. Either way, somebody get this done so we the fans of Zorro and hear this thing!

Matthew Sweet