A music-obsessed man survives the apocalypse when he stumbles into an abandoned radio station. A few years later, he’s still calling out over the airwaves to reach fellow survivors.
Should you see it?
Wasteland Radio is a (mostly) one man show that focuses on what it takes to stay alive as well as relatively sane in a post-apocalyptic world. The main character restored a radio station to its former glory and is still broadcasting to whoever can hear him, with only his tape deck, a mangy dog and a picture of a man called The Captain to keep him company.
This is an interesting character study – not much happens during Wasteland Radio but there’s something fascinating about the day-to-day life of this man. Sam Dietrich gives a multi-layered performance, keeping us engaged as he essentially talks to himself throughout the whole show. He even charmingly improvised his way through a few technical glitches. It’s unfortunate that some of this wonderful acting gets gets drowned out by music that is too loud. Although music is a very important part of Wasteland Radio, turning it down a little would have been to its benefit. The costumes and set are impressively detailed, showing that a lot of thought went into this.
My problem with Wasteland Radio is that it ends very abruptly – so suddenly that many audience members (including me) didn’t realize it was actually over, leading to an awkward smattering of uncertain applause. I’m disappointed that it didn’t keep going in the direction it veered towards in its last few minutes. I don’t want to give anything away, but something happens near the end that made me perk up in my seat, and it made me sad that it went nowhere.
Even with an ending that could use some rethinking, Wasteland Radio is a well-written and well-acted imagining of what happens to a man who lives through the apocalypse and spends six hellish years by himself in a radio station. This is a show that has the potential to be great with a few rewrites.
What did you think of Wasteland Radio? Did you enjoy the twist ending? What songs would be on your post-apocalypse playlist? Join the discussion in the comments below!
For more information on Wasteland Radio, including show times and how to get advance tickets, visit the show page on OttawaFringe.com: http://ottawafringe.com/tickets/wasteland-radio/