LEWISBURG - When the swirling Susquehanna starts to rise rapidly, towns and cities along its bank always check the river stage readings.
When the Milton Area Community Theatre decided to reorganize, the theater group's name was changed to RiverStage.
As the opening attraction of its expanded 2012-13 season, RiverStage will present "Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel: The Marx Brothers Lost Radio Show" for one performance at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Lewisburg's Campus Theatre, 413 Market St. Admission is free on a first-come, first-serve basis and no tickets are necessary.
RiverStage President Jennifer Wakeman, who, along with Daniel Brehm, is directing "Flywheel ..., " said that the group "has always welcomed talented performers and volunteers from across our region - not just from Milton - so we wanted the new name to reflect our ties to communities across the greater Susquehanna Valley. We want people to know that the group is branching out in terms of what we do and where we do them."
Russell Wynn Jr., choral and theater director at Milton Area High School, is RiverStage's artistic director. Having directed and acted in several of MACT's summer musicals since its formation in 2003, Wynn emphasized that the reorganization and new venues will now allow RiverStage to produce an even wider variety of theatrical productions in the area. After only presenting one musical throughout several years, the ambitious 10th anniversary season will include a play, a musical and a live-staged radio comedy.
The radio series "Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel" was produced in 1932-33 and starred Groucho Marx as sly attorney Waldorf T. Flywheel with Chico Marx as his wacky assistant Emmanuel Ravelli, although the silent comedy of Harpo Marx could not be utilized on radio.
The 26 episodes were aired from WJZ Radio studios in New York City. This radio show was dubbed "lost" as there are no recordings. But the short-lived series greatly influenced the Marx Brothers' later classic films by incorporating some of the same characters and routines.
Sunday's performance recreating one of the "Flywheel ... " radio scripts will be recorded and broadcast at a later date on WVIA Public Radio.
Also on tap in RiverStage's 10th season is Neil Simon's warm, witty comedy "Fools" March 8 through 10 at Lewisburg's Campus Theatre and the musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" July 19 through 21 at Sunbury's Shikellamy High School.
For more information, visit www.riverstagetheatre.org.