New Podcast Helps Kawartha Lakes Musician Maintain His ‘Love Affair’ With Theater

Longtime Kawartha Lakes resident and musician Randy Read shares his love affair with the FLATO Academy Theater through the recently launched podcast, Now and Then.  Airing on the first day of each month, episodes feature the history of the 130-year-old building as well as upcoming special events and attractions.

Randy Read is sharing his longtime “love story” with the world.

Earlier this year, the longtime resident and musician began recording his first podcast, Now and Then, taking to the airwaves to celebrate his relationship with the Academy Theatre.

“I’ve had a love affair with acting since I was a teenager,” Read said, crediting his father with “hanging” him on Lindsay’s monument.

It all started one summer when Read was attending a summer camp on Balsam Lake where his father was a counselor.

“My dad was also an entertainer and used to perform with Tommy Hunter’s band in the summer when he was filming his Academy TV show. He would take me with him and I remember being so impressed and impressed the first time I set foot in the building.

Read also had the opportunity to gain an intimate knowledge of the venue, spending time with the performers backstage and in the dressing rooms.

When Read moved to Kawartha Lakes in the 1980s, it wasn’t long before he became involved in theater, usually as a stagehand, conductor, or performing music for shows.

“The history of the theater is so rich, I’ve always wanted to share some of it… Many people don’t know that when the theater first opened its doors almost 130 years ago, it could seat 900 people. Pretty impressive considering Lindsay’s population was only around 6,000 at the time and access to the community was primarily by rail,” Read said.

Having been in the entertainment industry for 50 years, Read has seen his “performance window start to close”. Doing a podcast seemed like the perfect vehicle to promote the theater he loves “while keeping a foothold in the entertainment industry.”

So Read approached BGC Kawarthas to use The Warehouse’s recording studio to produce the show.

The podcast airs monthly premiered Nov. 1 — and Read already has a year’s worth of episodes lined up.

“There are so many stories. I don’t see it ending after just a year, though. There’s a ton of material that I haven’t even touched yet,” Read said.

As well as sharing the theater’s past with the help of historian Ian McKechnie, Read welcomes special guests to share upcoming events such as the Academy Theater Foundation’s upcoming 60th anniversary. General Manager Craig Metcalf discusses upcoming attractions.

The next episode of Now and Then will air on December 1 on Soundcloud, Podbean, Spotify and its website Facebook and Instagram pages help keep listeners informed.