Library to host 'War of the Worlds'

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Raconteur Radio will present a staged radio play of H.G. Welles War of the Worlds on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. at the Main Library, 125 Main Street, Newton.

Complete with theatrical lighting, period costumes, Golden Age radio equipment, sound effects and vintage commercials, War of the Worlds Live! recreates the broadcast that caused panicked New Jerseyans to flee their homes in fear of a real invasion 80 years ago.

Famously narrated and directed by Orson Wells, the Oct. 30, 1938, broadcast started with music, intermittently interrupted by news flashes about strange explosions on Mars and the landing of an alien spacecraft on Earth.

Despite a disclaimer at the beginning of the program, the simulated ‘news bulletins’ led many listeners to believe that an actual alien invasion was currently in progress and, as a result, there were instances of panicked evacuation throughout the United States.

Raconteur Radio’s reenactment features real actors in period costumes using authentic equipment and sound effects to recapture the feeling of that historic broadcast. The performance is free but seating is limited. Registration is through the Events Calendar link at or by stopping by or calling the Main Library at 973 948-3660, option 2.

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