There is more to enjoy at the Nostalgia Con than meeting Hollywood celebrities and shopping with vendors. The event room offers slide show seminars hosted by historians, authors, professors and museum curators. Here, you will be treated to a variety of subjects including recent archival discoveries. You do not have to attend all of these events but we do recommend you take a moment and look over the schedule and plan to visit the seminar room sometime during your visit. Some of these events are so popular that the room fills pretty quickly!
9:30 am ANIMATED GENESIS: The Origins and Future of King Kong
With the release of the new GODZILLA vs. KONG, it seems fitting to revisit the character of the mighty ape. The franchise of stop-motion animation, King Kong, has evolved over the years. Matthew Hahn, author of THE ANIMATED MARX BROTHERS, will provide us with a look at the evolution of King Kong from his prehistory in Willis O’Brien silents to what lies ahead.
11:00 am FUTURE PAST: CONCEPT SPACE VEHICLES OF THE 1950s
Hosted by Mike Turco. Growing up in the 1950s was exciting. It was the dawn of the Atomic Age and the Space Age, as well as the Golden Age of Science Fiction. Satellites and space flight were serious topics that came to fruition at the end of the decade, as evidenced by Sputnik and the race to space that ensued between East and West. This fascinating slide show seminar will review the TV shows that introduced the early Baby Boomers to the Sci-Fi genre and engendered the deep interest in space travel that launched many a science and engineering career. Space vehicles that were conceptualized in the Fifties will be reviewed, including a look and discussion of a few of the top-secret Cold War projects of the times. From Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, Walt Disney's Men Into Space series, to the iconic wheel concept of a futuristic space station, Mike will cover all areas of the spectrum. Explore the progression of the rocket designs, the mindset of the US military that pushed the limits of flight, and actual models of conceptual space vehicles of the 1950s, many of which will be on display at the convention.
3:30 pm THE GOTHAM RADIO PLAYERS
The Gotham Radio Players specialize in performing re-enactments of “lost” radio scripts from the Golden Age of Radio, programs for which no recording exists and which have probably not been heard since their original broadcast more than 60 years ago. Among the shows the group recreated were episodes from the detective adventures of The Adventures of Sam Spade, Nick Carter, Master Detective, The Green Lama and The Amazing Mr. Malone. The Gotham Radio Players have presented romantic comedy from The First Nighter Program and On Stage, high adventure from Escape, and horror from The Witch’s Tale and Lights Out.
4:15 pm INTERVIEW WITH LOUIS GOSSETT, JR.
Hosted by Spike Barkin. He stepped into the world of cinema in the Sidney Poitier vehicle A Raisin in the Sun in 1961. However, in 1953 he made Broadway history appearing as a star in “Take a Giant Step,” which was selected by the New York Times drama critics as one of the 10 best shows of the year. You know him for his role in An Officer and a Gentleman. He was the first African-American male to win an Oscar in a supporting role; the second black male to win for acting; and, the third African-American actor to win overall. Gossett also appeared in films such as The Principal, The Deep and Jaws 3-D, in a film career that spans over five decades. Louis Gossett, Jr. will be on stage to discuss his stage, film and television career, even taking questions from the audience.
5:30 pm INTERVIEW WITH JERRY MATHERS AND TONY DOW
LEAVE IT TO BEAVER defines the "golly gee" wholesomeness of 1950s and `60s TV, where dad Ward Cleaver always gets home in time for dinner, mom June cleans the house wearing a dress and pearls, and kids Wally and the Beav always learn a lesson by the end of the episode. Wally's friend, Eddie Haskell, causes trouble while kissing up to Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver. The cast of LEAVE IT TO BEAVER will be on stage to recall those six memorable years, behind-the-scenes stories, and how the cast truly became a family over the years. Hosted by Kat Lively, host of The Calling Old Hollywood Podcast.
7:00 pm INTERVIEW WITH JO ANN HARRIS, MARIEL HEMINGWAY AND BARBARA CARRERA
Hosted by Tom Doty, we get to hear from three lovely ladies. Jo Ann Harris was a sexy vamp who seduces Clint Eastwood in the haunting and dreamy, The Beguiled (1971) and will also provide us behind-the-scenes info about voicing characters on The Simpsons. Mariel Hemingway took a trip into outer space in the hands of Christopher Reeve during his battle against Lex Luther and The Nuclear Man. Barbara Carrera became best known for her screen performances playing a sinister femme fatale and played the assassin Fatima Blush, the Bond girl opposite Sean Connery in Never Say Never Again (1983).
9:00 pm INTERVIEW WITH MARY BADHAM
Nine-year-old Mary Badham had no film acting experience before being cast in To Kill a Mockingbird. The Oscar in her category went to another child actress, Patty Duke for The Miracle Worker. But Mary Badham received a more notable acknowledgement: she was the youngest person to receive a Best Supporting Actress nomination in Oscar history. (That record would later be broken with Tatum O’Neal for Paper Moon (1973).) During filming, Badham became particularly close to actor Gregory Peck, who played Scout's father, Atticus Finch; she kept in touch with him, always calling him “Atticus,” until his death in 2003. The film won three Academy Award, including Best Actor for Peck, and was nominated for eight, including Best Picture. In 1995, the film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." As for Mary Badham, she went on to guest star on Dr. Kildare and The Twilight Zone, and continued work in other motion-pictures under the direction of Sydney Pollack, Elliot Silverstein and William Castle. Not only will Mary Badham participate in a one-on-one interview on stage about her career, but also the culturally significant movie, To Kill a Mockingbird, which we will screen afterwards. Hosted by Kat Lively, host of The Calling Old Hollywood Podcast.
9:30 pm TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962)
A special screening following Mary Badham’s interview on stage. If you have never seen the movie before, or have not seen it in many years, here is your chance to appreciate the film that the AFI acknowledges as one of the 100 Greatest American Movies of all time.
9:00 am ZANE GREY: LEGEND AND LEGACY
To be announced. By Robert Lentz.
10:00 am THE LIFE AND CAREER OF DON DEFORE
Don DeFore starred in Broadway, film, and TV productions. He is perhaps best remembered in his TV roles as “Thorny” on the first five years of THE ADVENTURES OF OZZIE AND HARRIET and as “Mr. B” in the 1960s series, HAZEL. He made more than 35 feature films and co-starred in more than a dozen including the film debuts of Doris Day, Charlton Heston, Lizabeth Scott, and Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. This presentation will be delivered by his two sons, Ron and David. Ron’s new book, Growing Up in Disneyland is all about his father and his own life in a celebrity family. You will learn a lot you may not know, like Don being the President of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and selling the first national broadcast of the Emmy Awards Show to NBC, and as Ron’s book title suggests, Don was the only person to own a restaurant in Disneyland, “Don DeFore’s Silver Banjo Barbecue” in Frontierland.” Ron and David will be around all three days to sign copies of Ron’s new book, and some of their father’s films will be shown in the screening room.
11:00 am THE HISTORY OF THE LONE RANGER
Author/historian Martin Grams, Jr. presents a fascinating slide show on the history of the masked man and his faithful Indian companion. His latest book, THE LONE RANGER: The Early Years, 1933-1937, co-authored by Terry Salomonson, will be published in June or July and Martin promises to reveal a large number of photos that have never been published before and could not make it in his book.
12:30 pm OLD-TIME RADIO TRY-OUTS
Try your hand at playing a role on stage with script, sound effects and microphones. Open to anyone who attends the tryouts at 12:30 p.m. Win the role and you get to perform on stage!
3:00 pm OLD-TIME RADIO RE-ENACTMENT
To Be Announced
3:45 pm CHARITY AUCTION FOR THE ST. JUDE CHILDREN'S RESEARCH HOSPITAL
Have a few things about the house that you want to get rid of? Bring it to the convention on Friday and put them on the auction tables. All items will be accepted and every dollar raised during the sale of the auction items will help benefit children with treatable cancer. Bring your checkbook because you can make payment out to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, should you bid on items. (Please consult a CPA regarding tax deductions.) This year we are asking people NOT to donate audio cassettes or VHS videos, since no one is bidding on them during the auction. Thank you!
5:00 pm INTERVIEW WITH MARLI RENFRO and JOHN JAMES
Hosted by Bob Tevis. Television and screen legends Marli Renfro and John James will be on stage to discuss their careers on television and in motion-pictures. John James is a veteran of daytime soaps, first appearing in Search for Tomorrow in the late 1970s. In 1981 he won the role of Jeff Colby in Dynasty, appearing in the very first episode, and remaining on the soap opera until the final episode in 1989. James played the same role in The Colbys between 1985 and 1987, and one last time in the 1991 TV movie, Dynasty: The Reunion. Marli Renfro appeared in Francis Ford Coppola's first movie when he was in college, then cemented her contribution to the arts by doubling for Janet Leigh in the shower stabbing scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960). Her stories on the set will be entertaining!
6:00 pm INTERVIEW WITH PARKER STEVENSON AND IVYANN SCHWAN
Don Ramlow will interview Parker Stevenson, known as Frank Hardy on The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries for three seasons. He also made guest appearances on Gunsmoke and The Streets of San Francisco before signing up to play Frank Hardy as half the investigating duo on the weekly television series. Ivyann Schwan was a child actress for both movies and stage productions, including such classics as Problem Child 2 and Parenthood.
7:00 pm SPERDVAC CLUB MEET
Dr. Joe Webb and Robert Tevis offer a special program about SPERDVAC, the Society to the Preserve and Encourage Radio Drama, Variety and Comedy. Video of MANC guest Tony Dow from a SPERDVAC convention audio drama performance will be shown. For almost fifty years, SPERDVAC has presented the best of classic radio and new audio drama at their annual conventions. The organization is known for its archives of disc recordings, scripts, and memorabilia, and Radiogram magazine. All MANC attendees are welcome! Free copies of Radiogram will be provided as supplies allow.
8:30 pm INTERVIEW WITH PATRICK WAYNE
Hosted by Bob Tevis. Possessing his father's durable good looks, vigor and charm, this tall, strapping, exceedingly handsome second son of John Wayne had huge boots to fill in trying to escape his legendary father's shadow and corral Hollywood fame on his own terms. But attempt he did and, looking back, he may not have achieved the outright stardom of his father but certainly did quite admirably, making over 40 films in his career -- nine of them with his dad. Patrick will talk about his movie career, the people he worked with, and of course, his father. Following the interview we will be screening the special effects epic, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, starring Patrick Wayne, Jane Seymour and Taryn Power.
9:00 pm SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER (1977)
Sinbad The Sailor must deliver a prince transformed into a monkey to the lands of the Ademaspai to restore him to his human form in time for his coronation. On the way he must contend with the evil witch Zenobia, her son and their magic, and several nasty-looking Ray Harryhausen beasties. (Free snacks and sodas will be provided during the evening screening.)
9:00 am WHERE WERE YOU IN '62?
David Krell’s latest book covers the year that brought us the unveiling of Dodger Stadium, astronaut John Glenn’s historic flight, The Twist, To Kill a Mockingbird, JFK’s vow that astronauts would land on the Moon, and the début seasons for the Mets and Colt .45s (renamed Astros three years later). 1962: Baseball and America in the Time of JFK provides a time portal for those of a certain age to relive an era when America’s promise and optimism were limitless. If you’re too young to remember or weren’t born yet, 1962 will give you a peek into what life was like in the early 1960s with a vibrant, youthful president at the helm and a golden age of popular culture. It can be considered Hollywood’s greatest year: The Longest Day, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Lawrence of Arabia, Cape Fear, The Music Man, How the West Was Won, Lolita, To Kill a Mockingbird, Dr. No. And that’s just the beginning. It was an outstanding year for TV. In addition to well-known shows like The Flintstones, The Defenders, and Route 66, there were high-quality shows that had a short life in prime time, including Sam Benedict and 87th Precinct.
10:00 am FRANK LOVEJOY WORKS THE NIGHT BEAT
Researchers Joe Webb, Don Ramlow and Karl Schadow have been digging through the archives to unearth information about the popular radio program starring Frank Lovejoy. They will present their findings in a fascinating slide show regarding the history of Night Beat and a brief biography about the actor, Frank Lovejoy.
11:30 am THE WESTERN ON RADIO IN THE GOLDEN AGE
Hosted by Frank Morgan. As the mid-19th century westward expansion across the U. S. continent progressed, newspaper items, books, and pulp magazines brought to the “civilized” residents of the east coast the colorful stories of cowboys, Indians, brazen outlaws, and bolder lawmen they hungered for. Then the early 20th century gave birth to a new means of telling the stories – the silent movie. Audiences loved them and a new breed of western hero was born. So is it any wonder that when radio came along that the western would become a staple of the airwaves? Almost every day there was something – westerns with historical content, westerns for the kids, westerns for the adults. Join me for a discussion of the most popular westerns which entertained listeners during the Golden Age of Radio.
12:30 pm METRO WASHINGTON OLD-TIME RADIO CLUB
You do not have to be a member of the old-time radio club to attend their monthly meeting. The group gathers together for review of a classic old-time radio broadcast, demonstrate a brief sketch on stage complete with special effects, and other interactive activities. And, of course, you can sign up to become a member of the club after the meeting and get their bi-monthly newsletter. (Or you can visit the club website and sign up in advance at www.mwotrc.com)
2:00 pm THE FUNNIEST DECADE: AMERICAN COMEDIANS OF THE 1930s
If there was ever a “Golden Decade” of American comedy, it was the 1930s. At the dawn of that remarkable, laugh-filled era, comedians had, for the first time, three performing venues available to them: the stage, radio, and talking films (plus, in the final year of the decade, the arrival of television), resulting in this ten-year span producing the finest performances by the greatest comedians ever to make audiences laugh. In film, comedy titans Laurel & Hardy, The Marx Brothers, and W. C. Fields all reached their creative peaks, as did Mae West, Our Gang (a.k.a. The Little Rascals), the Three Stooges, and less-remembered teams such as Wheeler & Woolsey, Clark & McCullough, and the Ritz Brothers. At the same time, radio became a major entertainment force, allowing vaudevillians Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor, Fred Allen, Ed Wynn, George Burns & Gracie Allen, Edgar Bergen, Bob Hope, and Abbott & Costello to become national stars. On the stage, comedians including Bert Lahr, Fannie Brice, Jimmy Durante, and Wynn all thrived, while expanding their respective careers into films and radio. Author Garry Berman will be offering us an entertaining look at these entertainers and their radio career, with material from his book (of the same name as this presentation, recommended).
7:00 pm SATURDAY NIGHT DINNER BANQUET
All you can eat buffet with live stage entertainment! Tickets always sell out for this event. This is a great way to close out the weekend. Details of this year’s entertainment to be announced. A great way to close the weekend of excitement. The dinner banquet is the only event that requires a separate fee and is not included with general admission. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance, sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. (Which is why we recommend you purchase your tickets in advance.)