He is a good storyteller who can turn a man's ears into eyes.

Q: What do you get when you mix adventure, theosophy, Casablanca, Jungian archetype, American and Moroccan music, romance, storytelling, found sound, and the Mullah Nasruddin with a hefty dose of Berber proverbs?

A camel never sees his own hump, but those of his brothers are always before him.

A: Just about as close to perfection as you can get in modern American radio drama. Moon over Morocco is ZBS Foundation's second and longest Jack Flanders serial, first broadcast in 1974 on over 350 stations.

Catch the halter rope and it will lead you to the donkey.

In 20 half hour episodes, Robert Lorick once again steps into his role as adventurer Jack Flanders. This time he comes to Morocco to find a connection to the invisible realm of magic that modern civilization has left behind-- in hopes that the pre-Islamic cultures of the Atlas mountains have not. Flanders comes to Tangiers first, where he finds the local saloon owner Kasbah Kelly (Robert Lesser) and piano playing sidekick Mojo (Dave Adams) as his entryway into Moroccan expatriate society, folklore, and superstition. Eventually Flanders finds the Gate of Peacocks and crosses over into the invisible realm, where the series revs into high gear as a rollicking fantasy adventure pitting Flanders as El Kabah, the Liberator, against the tyrant, King Hassan Bezel... who is also Flanders. Fans of the first Jack Flanders series, The Fourth Tower of Inverness, will recognize Dave Herman (Dr. Mazoola) as Hassan Bezel's vizier and Pat Anderson/Spooner Duffy (Little Frieda) as El Kabah's protector, Little Flossic, a cigar smoking little Orphan Annie-esque sorceress accompanied by a band of fierce warriors (sounding suspiciously like Gordon McCrae and the men's chorus from the original soundtrack recording of Romberg & Hammerstein's The Desert Song).

For he who builds his casbah out of halva; beware the nibblers.

Writer/producer/director Thomas Lopez (under the pseudonym Meatball Fulton) recorded all the ambient background noise on location-- the sounds of Tangier and Marrakesh, the Medina, the Casbah, the music of the snake charmers, the call to prayer from the minarets, the street dogs are all authentic. Music of the Berber tribes was recorded at festivals by in the Grand Atlas and Rif Mountains by Paul Bowles. Lopez also adds piano of George Schutz and original music by Randy Cohen, Dennis Colin, and Tim Clark for a rich and textured audio production.

By all means trust in Allah, but tie your camel first.

The show is still in syndication today (If you're lucky, you can tune it in late nights, maybe on a college station, or a small public radio affiliate), and also available on CD and cassette from ZBS.

What is past is gone, what is hoped for is absent, for you is the hour in which you are.

Sources:
"Moon Over Morocco." ZBS Foundation Web Site, <http://www.zbs.org> (13 October 2001)
akril15@aol.com, "Moon Over Morocco." Akril's ZBS Fan Page. <http://www.geocities.com/akril_us/ZBS/JackFlanders/MoonOverMorocco.html> (13 October 2001)

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.