Actors Rick Heuthe and Diana Heinlein
in an Hour-Long Dramatic Reading as a Radio Play
Adapted and Directed by David Houston

From inspiring and frightening fiction about what happens when
the light goes out, all the way out – thanks to Mark Twain, Stephen King,
Isaac Asimov, Fredric Brown, and the Hardy Boys
Exploring the Art of the Eclipse



David Houston
(516) 293-2638 –

$300 fee includes two actors, reading stands, music and effects equipment,
and travel (Long Island and Queens); facility is asked to supply a performance area
of about 8 x 12, and amplification if the space is large and usually requires it. 
Running time is about 60 minutes 


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The Performers

Schedule of Performances

Photos for Publicity

Background Music


Reviews and Comments


The Performers

Rick Heuthe  is an accomplished character actor and singer with more than 30 years' theatrical experience. His diverse leading roles include Norman in The Dresser, William Detweiler in How the Other Half Loves, Sancho in Man of La Mancha, Amos in Chicago, Sir Joseph in H.M.S. Pinafore, Dr. Einstein in Arsenic and Old Lace, Ernie Cusack in Neil Simon's Rumors, and Paravaccini in Christie's The Mousetrap. He toured with an ensemble of six in Gilbert and Sullivan a la Carte, which presented at least one number from every G&S operetta, featuring Rick on the famous patter songs. He also had major roles in the world-premiere productions of The Mummy Musical (published by Dramatist's Play Service) and the popular cabaret revue Hollywood Exposed. He is Edgar Allan Poe in Houston's Murder and Madness and Poe, and Hercule Poirot in Christie Mysteries; and in Houston's vest-pocket musicals, Rick played Cole Porter in Let's Do It! and Lorenz Hart in A Rodgers and Hart Audition.
Diana Heinlein. Reviewing a production of The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, LONG ISLAND NEWSDAY said, "Diana Heinlein is solid and hilarious at the center of the angst-ridden comedy; watching her wallow in comic pathos in the Long Island premiere of Charles Busch's lively surprisingly complex comedy is a delight." About her performance in Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers, THE SUFFOLK COUNTY NEWS said, "Diana Heinlein offers a performance so moving that the swing of emotions will leave you dizzy." Diana has acted myriad roles in Simon classics including Mrs. Banks in Barefoot in the Park, Kate in both Broadway Bound and Brighton Beach Memoirs, Cookie in one production of Rumors and Claire in another. She starred in Houston's The Ghost of Dorothy Parker, she played five celebrities of the '40s in his A Rodgers and Hart Audition, and in Christie Mysteries she played Miss Marple when Rick Heuthe played Hercule Poirot.
David Houston, writer/director, as an actor has appeared in leading roles in scores of plays and musicals, including Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet, Senex in A Funny Thing, Ben in Death of a Salesman, Major Bouvier in Grey Gardens, Herr Shultz in Cabaret and Horace Giddens in The Little Foxes, and Sir in The Dresser.  He is a published and produced writer of fiction and non-fiction. His original plays—including Let's Do It!, The Last Dance, The Ghost of Dorothy Parker, Murder and Madness and Poe, and The Dickens!—have been seen at a number of Long Island schools and libraries. His Joan Crawford biography Jazz Baby (St. Martin's Press) was optioned for movie production (but not produced). He wrote the original science-fiction novels Alien Perspective, Gods in a Vortex, and Wingmaster (Norden Publishing), four novelizations of episodes from the TV series Tales of Tomorrow , wrote novelization of Swamp Thing and several other films, and was editor-in-chief of Starlog Magazine its first two years.

Schedule of Performances

Thursday, March 29, 2018, 1:00 pm — East Meadow Public Library
Monday, August 21, 2017, 1:00 pm — East Meadow Public Library


Photos for Publicity

fanciful eclipse with an extra moon in an alien sky


"Bailey's Beads" due to mountains on the moon               "Diamond Ring" as eclipse begins or ends

 Totality photographed from orbit


 Eclipse-watching in China in 1840                                       Doomsday dance in ancient Peru    

                        partial solar eclipse                            total lunar eclipse: the earth's shadow on the moon

Background Music

Music by Bernard Herrmann. From THE TWILIGHT ZONE: "Where Is Everybody" and "Walking Distance." From the movie FAHRENHEIT 451: "The Book People." From THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR: "Nocturne." From VERTIGO: "Prelude" and "The Necklace." From THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL: "Radar," "Solar Diamonds" and "Rebirth." From STRING QUARTET: "Echoes." 


  • Asimov, Isaac: NIGHTFALL AND OTHER STORIES, Doubleday and Co., Garden City, NY, 1969

  • Asimov, Isaac, and Robert Silverberg: NIGHTFALL, Bantam Books, New York, NY, 1990

  • Asimov, Isaac: ISAAC ASIMOV'S GUIDE TO EARTH AND SPACE, Random House,
    New York, NY, 1991

  • Brown, Fredric: ANGELS AND SPACESHIPS, "Answer," E.P. Dutton & Co., New York, NY, 1954

  • Brown, Fredric: THE BEST OF FREDRIC BROWN, "Imagine," "Experiment,"
    Nelson Doubleday, Garden City, NY, 1976

  • Dixon, Franklin W.: DARKNESS FALLS (Hardy Boys), Archway Books, New York, NY, 1993

  • King, Stephen, DOLORES CLAIBORNE, Penguin Books, New York, NY, 1993

  • Mass, Wendy, EVERY SOUL A STAR, Little Brown & Co. New York, NY, 2008

  • Twain, Mark: BITE-SIZED TWAIN, St. Martin's Press, New York, NY, 1998

  • Twain, Mark: THE UNABRIDGED MARK TWAIN, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court,
    Running Press, Philadelphia, PA, 1976

   Comments about Literary Entertainments

Rick Heuthe as Edgar Allan Poe in MURDER AND MADNESS AND POE

Carol A. Lombardo, Director, Garwood Public Library, Garwood NJ: "Very entertaining and informative. The music interludes added a nice touch to Poe's works. Set decoration added to the atmosphere."  Penelope Wright, Adult Programs, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton: "Edgar Allan Poe came alive in this sympath- etically portrayed, finely acted, brilliantly written dramatic presentation. David Houston never fails to present great offerings at our library." Tracey Simon, Program Coordinator, Lynbrook Public Library: "Very good audience response, excellent performance; totally professional as always, well prepared." Maureen Chiofalo, Nassau County Library Association (performance at Reference and Adult Services brunch): "It was a very enjoyable program; the staging and dialogue were very appealing. We received enthusiastic feedback from the membership." Patricia Brandt, Librarian, John Jermain Memorial Library, Sag Harbor: "Audience comments were: 'Great writing.' 'Very well done; I couldn't get over the amount of dialog the actor had to memorize and how well he did it.' 'Engrossing.' 'Spooky!' 'When are you having another program by Mr. Houston?'" Jude Schanzer, director of PR and Programs, East Meadow Public Library: "Well done.  Absolutely perfect for a library or school."  Phyllis Cox, Program Coordinator, Jericho Public Library: "Wonderful program; the audience loved it."  Debbie Starker, in Deb's Web LI Theatre Newsletter: "A 70-minute, tour de force in which Edgar Poe auditions for a reading tour.  I have always loved Poe and did a college thesis on Poe as the Father of the modern detective mystery. This presentation is perfectly suited to the Halloween season. See it if you love Poe, poetry, the macabre, etc." Joseph Sterniolo, Program Coordinator, Brentwood Library: "Wonderfully done; quite literate.  The audience was affected."

Diana Heinlein as Miss Marple, Rick Heuthe as Hercule Poirot in ON THE CASE: CHRISTIE MYSTERIES

Kristen Jording, Library Programmer, Seaford Public Library: "The performance, content and production were fantastic! The audience simply enjoyed it; they can't wait for the library to have another show with David Houston. Jude Schanzer, Programs and Publicity, East Meadow Public Library: "As always, the performance, content and production values were stellar. The audience was completely enthralled!" Tina Holinski, Assistant Library Manager and Children's Librarian: "I thoroughly enjoyed this program! The actors are expert! I love their British accents. The props and musical accompaniment complement the plays so beautifully and precisely. Bravo!" Erin L. Blatt, Programming and Outreach Librarian, Franklin Township Public Library, Somerset, NJ: "Our audience had nothing but kind things to say about the performance—interesting, fun, different, and engaging, to name a few." Jessica Ley, Program Coordinator, Port Washington Public Library: "As I would expect, the Christie show is another stellar production from David Houston and company. Top ratings in all categories." Yvette M. Postelle, Administrative Assistant, Adult Programs, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton: "Very good;  Well received by the audience; very positive comments from the patrons as they left. A few actually mentioned that they were inspired to read some Christie novels again." 

David Houston as Noёl Coward, Rick Heuthe as Cole Porter in LET'S DO IT!

Phyllis Cox, Program Director and Publicity, Jericho Public Libray: "Excellent. Thank you again for a wonderful performance. You keep making me look so good! [75 patrons expected, 128 came]." Frances Altemose, Head of Community Services, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook: "The program was delightful and entertaining. Top notch! The audience was hanging on every word and had an appreciation for the clever lyrics and dialog. Yvette M. Postelle, Assistant, Adult Programs, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton: "Every patron passing me as they left that evening had glowing comments. The audience was captivated, and I noticed quite a few swaying to the music! Many said we should have more programs of this sort." Staff, Queens Library Forest Hills: "Several members of the audience stopped by to comment on how much they enjoyed the play. I will be sure to pass along a recommendation for your return to Queens Library. Connie Ellis, Programs, Peconic Landing Retirement Community: "Excellent. Our audience thought you were terrific. The length of the show [one hour] was appropriate for them."  


Penelope Wright, Director of Adult Programs, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton: "Bravo! Another coup! You could have heard a pin drop during the entire hour of David Houston's portrait of this brilliant complicated woman.  Ms. Heinlein's portrayal was delivered lovingly and with great intelligence; it was warm, witty (OK, some thanks to Dorothy), and always completely engaging. I would recommend this production to anyone anywhere!" Marcia Johnson, Adult Program Coordinator, North Shore Public Library: "As usual the professionalism showed. It was a delightful script deftly handled by Diana. I feel like I got to know dear old Dorothy at little bit." Tracey Simon, Program Coordinator, Lynbrook Public Library: "I could not attend the production myself, my misfortune; but the feedback I received afterwards was very positive, from the performance to the costumes and sets." Jessica Ley, Program Coordinator, Port Washington Public Library: "David Houston's productions continue to educate entertainingly; we've never been disappointed in the talent he and his staff of performers exhibit.  'Dorothy Parker' is excellent in all categories" [audience response, script, literary content, performance, set and costumes]." Barbara Minerd, Program Director, Garden City Public Library: "Diana's performance was brilliant. The play was excellent."


Charles Sleefe, Library Director, Mineola Memorial Library: "Excellent. A great addition to our year-long Lincoln celebration." Tauhirah K. Abdussabur, Customer Service Specialist, Forest Hills Community Library, Queens: "Patrons [a full house] stayed through the entire performance; you could hear a pin drop. They clapped and laughed. They  focused on the performer. Many spoke with the Mr. Houston after the presentation and expressed their appreciation."  Karin L. Briller, Librarian (Programming), Franklin Square Public Library: Excellent script and performance. "The people who saw it enjoyed it very much. It's interesting to hear Lincoln's words spoken. The whole stage/set design and music worked fantastically together." Emma S. Clark Library, Setauket, Programs: Excellent script, performance, audience response; "A well done performance." Christine Langerfeld, President, Friends of the Montauk Library: "An absolute pleasure! I wish all performers were as gifted and easy to work with. The professionalism is evident from the time of booking through the end of the performance." Christopher Kohan, President, Victor D'Amico Institute of Art: "I am writing to say how much I enjoyed your Lincoln talk at the Montauk Library. There can never be enough said about Mr. Lincoln; there is always something new to learn."