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Sorry, Wrong Number

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Lucille Fletcher
Sorry, Wrong Number was written for radio. Fletcher was married to composer, Bernard Hermann, who with director Orson Welles and writer Herman Mankiewicz advanced sound in motion pictures in Citizen Kane by employing skills honed in dozens of radio play adaptations of popular movies and stage plays. Hermann scored music for the original broadcast of Sorry Wrong Number in 1943 in which actress, Agnes Moorehead, played the lead.

 

 






                                                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Playgoers in Los Angeles have seen Brooke McCormick (photo on left) recently, as the the lead, Anne Haines, in the thriller, "Strangers on a Train" at Knightsbridge Theatre and they heard her voice the role of reporter, June Christie, in "Tonight at 11!" at The Falcon Theatre. Brooke has performed in numerous productions for stage and film in LA and San Diego. Her favorite roles include Molly in "The Smell of the Kill", Sylvia in "The Women" and Nina in "Nina in the Morning". She made her television debut in 2007 in "Saints & Sinners". She's a member of AEA and SAG and a graduate of Southern Methodist University and American Academy of Dramatic Arts.


Brooke McCormick
agnes moorehead in citizen kane

San Diego Radio Theater's 2007 Reprise



Lucille Fletcher's original script was used for this production, nearly verbatim. As when broadcast in 1943, there are no music cues except for the signature in deference to verisimilitude. Brooke McCormick was supported by the SDRT ensemble who endeavored to bring the accents and style of New York City in the '40s to life. John Vilotti, composed and performed the intro and signature music.




SDRT Production of "Sorry, Wrong Number"
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Sorry, Wrong Number introduced the psychological thriller to radio, which then migrated into film and TV. Sorry, Wrong Number is unsurpassed in its imperceptible crescendo of emotion to a climax as startling and satisfying as Ravel's "Bolero".

 

 

 

 










Notes About 1943 Production

Lucille Fletcher was a contract writer for Orson Welles' Mercury Theater of the Air and she is recognized by pros as the inventor of the radio "terror" show. an idiom followed later by Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Sterling. Ms. Fletcher's husband, Bernard Hermann, is even more revered for creating the music scores that set the emotional tone for such ideas, which he and Welles then carried over to the silver screen. Welles, besides having a great voice for radio, was a brilliant writer and director and he orchestrated the performances of musicians, actors and sound effects in real time, developing techniques that he later introduced in motion picture sound tracks. Writers like Ms. Fletcher and John Houseman, and inspired composers like Hermann, helped Welles produce unsurpassed audio theater.



Agnes Morehead


Presaging Alfred Hitchcock, Lucille Fletcher said she conceived this play while waiting on line for service in a butcher's shop, she witnessed the rude behavior of a woman standing ahead of her in line. Walking home, she imagined the rude woman as the protagonist of Sorry Wrong Number and dealt her the grizzly fate that ends the tale.

 

*Original 1943 Production of "Sorry, Wrong Number"


The play is a series of telephone conversations. A woman is confined to her home by illness and she overhears a telephone conversation between a hit man and his client arranging for a murder. Unable to leave the house to report the impending crime, she first calls the telephone operator, and then the police. Unable to get anyone to help her deal with this impending crime, her frustration mounts as deals with impenetrable layers of bureaucracy of the telephone company and then the police.
Copyright for much of the material on these pages belongs to Michael Winn and San Diego Radio TheaterĀ® or others.
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