Old Time Radio is responsible for at least the longevity of so many character types that the public have enjoyed for decades and still today. One of those is the brassy Brooklyn dame who while seeming ditzy to some, actually brings a bit of her own wisdom of the world to every predicament she finds herself in, of which there are many. If you haven’t guessed it, I’ve just described one Maisie Revere, often out of work entertainer and just as often consistent entertainment as the heroine of The Adventures of Maisie.
Portrayed by Ann Sothern, MGM starlet and the originator of the Maisie role in a series of high grade B movies for the studio, Maisie came to life on the radio waves in 1949. Although this is actually the second series to feature the character, it’s the only series of which any episodes are known to exist.
From the cracker jack opening of Maisie’s heels clicking, a man asking her “Hiya babe! Say, how ’bout-“ and a slap and Maisie saying, “Does that answer your question, buddy?” the stage is set in each episode for Sothern to play brassy and funny to the hilt. And she does this with a style and a sort of rough grace that adds credence to the character. Maisie sounds and moves within each episode as you would expect a girl from Brooklyn who finds herself in non-Brooklyn type situations constantly to sound and move. And although, by her own account, Maisie may not be the highest limb on the tree intellectually, her view of the world around her and how those she encounters mistakenly see things is simultaneously hilarious, refreshing, and enlightening.
On so many levels, “The Adventures of Maisie” is most definitely a comedy, leaning heavily toward screwball in a few of the episodes on this collection. But something else manifests from the crucible of mixing Sothern’s acting and dead on voice with the skill of the writers and the quirky plots of this show. Whether Maisie is having to work off rent as a hotel clerk and mistakenly rents a room to phony royalty or pretends to be a lady herself and almost nabs her a Lord all her own or rooks a snobby diva out of her stylish clothes by convincing her she’s a near dowager, there is something that comes out of each episode more than guffaws and giggles.
Played with that street rough, yet simplistic delivery Sothern brings to the role, Maisie Revere delivers quite a bit of Brooklyn spun philosophy as she stumbles in and out of trouble. You don’t have to listen hard to hear her ideas on rich people, authority, and even her own place in the crazy world she lives in. This adds a distinct appeal to the show as a whole, making it not only a solid old time radio comedy, but also something with a bit of insightful veritas to it as well.
The Adventures of Maisie, Volume 1 is definitely a comedy worth having in your collection and one that is one step above the ‘lighter fare’ of its audio peers. Available today from Radio Archives, 10 hours of Maisie on Audio CDs for $29.98.
Radio Archives always strives to be the best and continually improve our products. We embarked on a massive project two years ago to update the artwork for the 200 Old Time Radio CD sets available.
This project is now complete and all orders are now shipping with the newest artwork. Take a look at the Covers which we upgraded this week.
Radio Archives wants to share its excitement with YOU! From now until February 29th, 2012, you can add any of the new artwork for Radio Archives sets you already own to your collection for absolutely FREE with your next order! Add to the experience of the programs you already enjoy with these creative pieces of art!
The process to upgrade your Radio Archives covers is simple! First, search the Radio Archives website to find the set you own. Then copy the Product Description. As an example, the Product Description would look like this:
Mystery Is My Hobby – 10 hours [Audio CDs] #RA132
You then paste the Product Descriptions of all the sets you want updated into the comments section of your next order. The artwork will be sent free of charge along with your order!
This offer expires on February 29th and artwork can only be provided for products currently offered on RadioArchives.com. Radio Archives appreciates your business and wants you to have the newest Cover Artwork so that you have the best quality product, both inside and out!