BB1938 Clips Are Live!

We have just posted a number of video clips of The Frank Cyrano Byfar Hour from last year's show, The Big Broadcast of October 30th, 1938, to a special page under the Ads & Publicity section. Get a quick preview by watching the clip below or visit the Video Clips page!

As the audience settles in before the Byfar Hour goes on the air, host Frank Cyrano lists some very important rules and promptly breaks one of them. Del, the long-suffering stage manager, is quick to correct him.


Finding a Voice for the Sirens

Hello out there! I'm Jessica Raine, a proud member of Team Music for The Big Broadcast of 1946. This year's terrifying tale of watery combat, The Sirens Of War, has given me an opportunity to put on my Folk Music Nerd Hat and adapt several traditional musical pieces into potentially deadly weapons. Read on…if you dare!

Read the rest of this entry »

Stage Widow gets pulled in!

Hi there, Charley Kendall's wife here.  (Well, the actor's wife. :-D)

Last year I had the extraordinary honor of being the unofficial photographer for The Big Broadcast of October 30th, 1938. I perched my tripod in the first row of the balcony with my elderly (but good quality) digital point-and-shoot, and just started snapping away.  I think I took around 400 photographs; the best surprise, upon post-processing, was this one.

Jude Shabry, the whirling Foley dervish.

This one was declared by Spatch (Rob Noyes) to be "iconic" – no one had ever said that before!

The cast of The Byfar Hour listens to reports from New Jersey.

Over the summer, Jacob and I (and our small boy) randomly invited Neil Marsh to lunch… and he told me that he'd been pointing people to my Flickr album to show them what PMRP does.

Then Spatch (Rob Noyes) asked for a CD of the photos so that PMRP could use them for more official publicity. Now, they're the website slideshow. Thanks, guys, for the ego boost; it was badly needed this summer.

Just one more example of how PMRP isn't just a bunch of actors – it's a timesuck community. :)

Maybe Rob will let me use his splufty SLR this year? ;)

Now you, too, can be a star and serve Byfar!

One of the most-asked questions we got last year during the Big Broadcast of 1938, after "Which way to the bathroom?", was "Does Byfar Coffee Syrup really exist?" It's been a difficult question to answer truthfully. Our cast and crew have done such a wonderful job of creating the world of Putnam-Moore and the WPM radio station for you, starting right as you walk into the Somerville Theatre lobby, that I've been loath to answer lest the honesty take away from the mystique. However, as of October 2, 2010, I can safely and honestly answer yes, there really is such a thing as Byfar Coffee Syrup, and you'll be able to enjoy coffee milk made with the real deal at this year's Big Broadcast of 1946.

We wanted to feature Byfar last year, but time and logistics prevented us from pursing the idea in depth. And while there is one brand of coffee syrup still sold in New England, I was pretty certain the nice people at Autocrat would not appreciate our slapping a Byfar label on their product. We wanted our own stuff. This year we were lucky enough to find a kitchen scientist who was excited about the idea. She accepted our challenge and developed five different formulas for our approval. Neil and I immediately declared ourselves Official Byfar Taste Testers and hurried over for the taste testing. Our goal was simple: Determine which formula was tasty enough to earn the Byfar name.

Our rigorous and thorough scientific testing.We began our thorough scientific analysis by mixing up the five different formulas in both skim milk and whole. We also had a sample of Autocrat syrup for control purposes, but we weren't planning on recreating it specifically. Oh, no! Byfar has to have its own flavor. That's what sets it apart from the rest.

The five formulas differed in the kind of coffee used and the spices and flavors added. The stuff is all-natural, by the way, and the ingredient list will be very simple and easy to pronounce. No artificial colors or flavors here! As it turns out, all five were good. But only one could be Byfar.

Formula No. 1 was very tasty, and quite close to Autocrat in mildness. The coffee flavor came on nicely and, for those of you who love it when people say crazy things about the taste of wine or scotch, there were hints of caramel, maple and peat. I may be lying about the peat.

Formula No. 2 used the same coffee as #1, only with real vanilla extract added. Great idea! The coffee flavor came through great, and had a nice, sweet aftertaste. Both Neil and I made very approving murmurs towards #2 when we finished our Dixie cups. No. 3 had a very secret ingredient — cardamom — and the result was something incredibly delicious, but more suited to chai. I'd love to drink that too, but we're striving for 1946 accuracy and unfortunately coffee chai doesn't fit in there.

Formulas No. 4 and 5 used a different kind of coffee, and the coffee taste was darker. I know the taste of coffee isn't everybody's favorite, so I wanted to make sure our finished product was accessible to as many fans as possible. This means it has to have a smooth coffee flavor without being too, well, coffee-ey. The sweetness and the lighter coffee blend really helps. 

Neil and I went back and forth between #2 and #5, sampling and re-sampling and re-re-re-sampling. It was tough work but someone's gotta do it. Ultimately we agreed that No. 2 offered the best blend of flavors, both coffee and sweet. Perhaps someday we'll bring out Byfar Dark for those discerning coffee connoisseurs, but for now, it's good ol' Formula No. 2 for us. 

Once Neil and I made our choice, we grabbed a Random Innocent Bystander and quickly deputized her as an Official Civilian Taste Tester. The verdict after a glass? "Oh, that's good." I believe we have a victory, plus a possible slogan to boot! Our kitchen scientist was very proud and absolutely chuffed that we'd found a winner, and Neil and I were just as thrilled to have not only witnessed, but helped bring about the creation of the Byfar Coffee Syrup. And what a thrill it was, the moment when this idea, this shared notion of a uniquely New England sponsor, became real.

I mean, it's one thing to mention Byfar in the programs, the Daily Advertiser newspaper and through our mellifluous announcer and pitchman Charley Kendall. But it's another thing entirely to taste it. And hold an actual bottle of it in your hands. We'll have plenty of bottled Byfar Coffee Syrup on hand at the Big Broadcast merch table and if you're lucky, you may also get a chance to sample some of that special Formula No. 2 coffee milk yourself, or perhaps even enjoy it in a frappe. But you might have to act fast and beat the cast to it.

New Merchandise Items Added!

We just added three new three fridge magnets to our merchandise stock:

Big Broadcast of 1946 Fridge Magnet
"Big Broadcast of 1946" Fridge Magnet
Byfar Coffee Syrup '46 Logo Magnet
Byfar Coffee Syrup '46 Logo Magnet
Byfar Coffee Syrup '38 Logo Magnet
Byfar Coffee Syrup '38 Logo Magnet

As with our other merchandise, these items will be for sale in the lobby of the Somerville Theatre during the run of our show. You can also purchase them from our Zazzle store if you just can't wait for Halloween!

We Have Merch!

We just ordered some of our merchandise for the show!
The items include three buttons:

Big Broadcast of 1946 Button
"Big Broadcast of 1946" Button
Frank Cyrano Byfar Hour Button
"Frank Cyrano Byfar Hour" Button
Tomes of Terror Button
"Tomes of Terror" Button

And two mugs:

Big Broadcast of 1946/Byfar Coffee Syrup Mug (R) Big Broadcast of 1946/Byfar Coffee Syrup Mug (L)
Both sides of the "Big Broadcast of 1946" / Byfar Coffee Syrup Mug
Big Broadcast of October 30th, 1938/Byfar Coffee Syrup Mug (R) Big Broadcast of October 30th, 1938/Byfar Coffee Syrup Mug (L)
Both sides of the "Big Broadcast of October 30th, 1938" /
Byfar Coffee Syrup Commemorative Mug

These items will be for sale in the lobby of the Somerville Theatre during the run of our show. You can also purchase them from our Zazzle store if you just can't wait for Halloween!


Hi everyone! I just uploaded some photos I took at the read-through last week and thought you'd like to see them:

Greetings from the Radio Ether!

Hello out there to all our listeners and friends!

I'm Rob Noyes, the Artist-in-Residence of the Post-Meridian Radio Players and part of the team who will be bringing you The Big Broadcast of 1946 this October at the Somerville Theater. As the stylish header at the top of the page indicates, we'll be performing from October 28, 29 and 30th at 7:30 pm, and holding a special Halloween matinee at 2:00 pm on Sunday, October 31st. I hope you can make one of these performances if you can, because we've got two and a half hours of live radio entertainment coming up and it's going to be a blast.

This show is the Post-Meridian Radio Players' sixth Halloween production, and for it we thought we'd present a brand spankin' new website that will not only provide the important information regarding when and where, but also present insights into why and how. As writer and director of the Frank Cyrano Byfar Hour, I'll be writing dispatches on this blog from time to time about the Byfar Hour's progress, background on the show, and other goodies.

Gilly Rosenthol, director of the Tomes of Terror story "But Oh, What Happened To Hutchings?" and Jess Viator, director of "The Sirens of War", will also share notes and updates with you on their thrilling and scary segments. We may also hear from other members of the production team, writers, cast, or some of our extremely talented Foley performers.

If you're new to the Post-Meridian Radio Players, I invite you to take a look at our main website and check out our other live and podcast presentations, including the chilling new series The Mask of Inanna and the homage/parody of 30s and 40s pulp sci-fi, Red Shift, Interplanetary Do-Gooder.

Thank you for visiting our new show website, drop in anytime, and we hope you'll come be a part of our Halloween tradition!

Get the Flash Player to see the slideshow.