Both sides are throwing around accusations of “Fascism!” in the current presidential race, so it’s an opportune time to revisit Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 satirical novel It Can’t Happen Here, which was written at a time when the world was beginning to confront the real thing.
In 2016 Berkeley Rep created a stage adaptation of the novel, which follows the ascent of a demagogue to the U.S. presidency, and ran it right before that year’s presidential election. Now — just a few weeks before the culmination of this year’s bitter contest — the California-based professional company has revived it in the form of a radio play.
Starring David Kelly as the candidate Buzz Windrip and Oscar nominee David Strathairn as journalist Doremus Jessup, the production is being made available to theaters across the country as a free event on YouTube. American Stage is the local partner in the presentation.
It Can’t Happen Here — Radio Play. All four episodes, plus an introduction and the post-show chatback, can be found in the following YouTube playlist, for continuous playing from episode to episode: http://bit.ly/ICHHplaylist. Available through Nov. 8. Free; no registration required.