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Hop-Frog (radio)

Hop-Frog (radio): “

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[[Image:HopFrog_RadioTales.jpg|right|Image of cover art for the ‘Hop-Frog’ program from the Radio Tales series]]
‘Hop-Frog’ is an episode of the [[American]] radio anthology series [[Radio Tales]]. The anthology series adapted classic works of American and world literature for the radio. The series was a recipient of numerous awards, including four Gracie Allen Awards from the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television (in 2004,<ref>[ ‘AWRT Press Release’] Accessed [[March 21]], [[2008]].</ref> 2003,<ref>[ ‘NPR Productions Win Gracie Allen Awards’] Accessed [[March 21]], [[2008]].</ref> 2001,<ref>[ ‘2001 Gracie Allen Award Winners’], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed [[March 21]], [[2008]].</ref> and 1998), a New York Festivals WorldMedal,<ref>[ ‘2004 Winners, Radio Programming and Promotion, New York Festivals’], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed [[March 21]], [[2008]].</ref> and a Golden Reel Merit Award.<ref>[ ‘NFCB Announces 2001 Golden Reel Award Winners’], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed [[March 21]], [[2008]].</ref> The ‘Hop-Frog’ program from the Radio Tales series was an adaptation of the classic short story [[Hop-Frog]] by [[Edgar Allan Poe]].

==Broadcast History==

The Radio Tales production of ‘Hop-Frog’ was first broadcast via NPR on October 27, 1998.<ref>National Public Radio: ‘NPR Quarterly Edition Fall 1998’. NPR Marketing, Vol. IV, No. III</ref> The program encompassed two half-hour installments that were distributed to NPR member stations as part of the [[NPR Playhouse]] cultural series. Since November 28th, 2002, the entire Radio Tales series has aired in reruns on the Sonic Theater channel (163) of the [[XM Satellite Radio]] service.<ref>[ ‘Sonic Theater’] Accessed [[May 22]], [[2008]].</ref> The ‘Hop-Frog’ program debuted on XM Satellite Radio on August 16, 2003.

==Production Information==

The program was produced and script edited by series producer [[Winnie Waldron]], who also served as the on-air host.<ref>[ ‘Winifred Phillips Official Site: Biography’] Accessed [[May 19]], [[2008]].</ref> Composer [[Winifred Phillips]] created over fifty-six minutes of music for the program, and also performed as the featured actress.<ref>[ ‘NPR Playhouse – January – March, 2001’] Accessed [[March 21]], [[2008]].</ref> ‘Hop-Frog’ was part of the third year of Radio Tales on NPR Playhouse.<ref>National Public Radio: ‘NPR Quarterly Edition Fall 1998’. NPR Marketing, Vol. IV, No. III</ref>

==Critical reception==

The ‘Hop-Frog’ program from the Radio Tales series has received favorable reviews. In reviewing the series’ production of Edgar Allan Poe’s Hop-Frog, AudioFile Magazine wrote, ‘The tales (Phillips) chooses to render are variations on the theme of her own audio art… Style and content dovetail nicely, if one can call such malevolent material ‘nice’… This is a particularly effective, even understated, piece, as much Phillips’s as Poe’s.’ <ref>Y.R.: ‘Reviews: Classics’. AudioFile Magazine, August/September 2000.</ref>


The ‘Hop-Frog’ program from the Radio Tales series was a recipient of an Audie Honors award in 1999 from the Audio Publishers Association in the ‘Classics’ category. <ref>[ ‘Audio Publishers Association, APA’], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed [[October 1]], [[2008]].</ref>


The Radio Tales production of ‘Hop-Frog’ was published on audiocassette by Durkin Hayes Publishing Ltd in 1998 as a part of both its DH Audio catalog and its ‘Paperback Audio’ line (ISBN 0886468590),<ref>[ ‘ Tales By American Masters: Hop Frog’] Accessed [[October 1]], [[2008]].</ref> to coincide with the broadcast premiere of the program via National Public Radio. Since that time, the program has been available in numerous formats and venues, including burn-on-demand CDs manufactured and distributed by<ref>[ ‘ Radio Tales’], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed [[July 15]], [[2008]].</ref> and<ref>[ ‘ Radio Tales’], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed [[July 15]], [[2008]].</ref> Beginning in 2005, programs from the series, including the ‘Hop-Frog’ program, have been available for download via the web site.<ref>[ ‘audioVille | Stor>>Fiction | Radio Tales | Download Audio Books, Podcasts and more in MP3. Comedy, Fiction, sport, news, science, drama.’] Accessed [[May 24]], [[2008]].</ref>

==Opening narration==
{{cquote|Once, in a land far away, there existed a kingdom of advisors and jesters, where the learned and intelligent of the court lived side by side with the fools. Yet, the lines between them were not always clearly drawn, and one day, when a great wrong was committed, it suddenly became impossible to tell who were the wise ones, and who were the fools.}}

==Plot Summary==

The king and his seven ministers enjoy jokes immensely, and they treasure their court jester – Hop-Frog. The crippled dwarf is endlessly amusing, as well as very acrobatic in his ability to climb using only his arms. Hop-Frog had been captured from a ‘barbarous’ country and enslaved for the amusement of the court, along with one of his countryfolk – a pretty dwarf named Trippetta. Now, the king and his ministers determine that the crippled jester Hop-Frog should be called upon to decide what costumes would be best for them to wear to an upcoming masquerade ball. The king forces Hop-Frog to drink wine (which he dislikes, for it has a particularly strong effect on him). When Hop-Frog isn’t quick to supply them with ideas, the king orders him to drink more wine, and Trippetta steps forward to ask the king to show mercy to her friend. As an answer, the king shoves Trippetta and throws the wine in her face.

In the pause that follows, everyone in the room hears a mysterious grating sound, which a courtier attributes to the caged parrot nearby (whereas the king had thought that the sound might be the grating of Hop-Frog’s teeth). Hop-Frog then begins to plan for the costumes the king and his ministers will wear – he seems much recovered from the wine, and very convivial. He proposes that they dress as ‘Ourang-Outangs’, and that he will take care of all the details of their costumes. They all eagerly agree. The night of the ball arrives, and Hop-Frog has the king and his ministers slathered with tar, which is then coated with flax. He chains them all together (as they are traditionally chained by those who capture wild apes in Borneo, Hop-Frog explains). Then, he opens the doors of the masquerade hall and the eight ‘Ourang-Outangs’ charge into the room together.

The reaction is immediate and astonishing – the beautifully dressed party-goers run in every direction with a general outcry of alarm. Hop-Frog runs alongside the ‘Ourang-Outangs’, guiding them and egging them on. Earlier in the evening, the chandelier that customarily hung at the center of the hall had been removed for the party (since the hot weather would have caused the wax candles to drip on everyone’s costumes, Hop-Frog had said), so there is now only an opening in the roof at the room’s center point… from which a mysterious hooked chain now gently descends to the floor. Hop-Frog grabs the hook and fastens it to the ‘Ourang-Outangs’ chains, which immediately hoists upwards, dragging the king and his ministers close together. Grabbing a torch from the wall, Hop-Frog leaps onto the chain and climbs up over the heads of the ‘Ourang-Outangs’, all the while shouting that he’ll find out who these people are! Everyone seems to comprehend the ‘joke’ at this point, and laughter fills the room… until Hop-Frog suddenly lets out a high whistle, and the chain hoists Hop-Frog, the king and the seven ministers high into the air. Holding the torch downward, Hop-Frog sets the flaxen ‘hair’ of the Ourang-Outangs on fire. The king and his seven ministers immediately explode into flame, and no one can reach them to offer them any help. While they burn, Hop-Frog announces to the horrified crowd that he now knows who these Ourang-Outangs are – they are a king and his seven ministers, who do not hesitate to strike an innocent young girl. Exclaiming that this is his last jest, Hop-Frog climbs the chain to the roof (where presumably Trippetta is waiting for him) and the two are never seen again.

== References ==


== External Links ==

* [ Hop-Frog Streaming Audio Excerpts on]
* [ The Official Radio Tales® Web Site]
* [ Radio Tales® Full Series – Streaming Audio Excerpts]
* [http://www. XM Satellite Radio – Information on the Sonic Theater Channel]

[[Category:Radio Tales]]

(Via Wikipedia – New pages [en].)

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