News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 24, 2013

Crosley Radio Players to perform Sunday at Tuscany dinner theater


News Release

PARIS, ILL. — The Crosley Radio Players return Sunday to the new dinner theater in Tuscany Restaurant at Paris, Ill.

Tuscany, 1218 N. Main St. (Illinois 1), will offer a buffet dinner with drink and dessert, in addition to the Crosley Radio Players’ 80-minute show, for $17 per person.

The Crosley show will feature episodes of “Dragnet,” “Chesterfield Supper Club” and “Fibber McGee and Molly.” Many of the sound effects used will be generated live, just as they were when the shows were on radio.

Reservations are strongly suggested, as seating is limited. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Tuscany, or by calling 217-466-1610. Buffet service begins at 5 p.m. CST with the Crosley show at 6:15.

“Dragnet” was perhaps the most famous and influential police drama in media history. The series gave millions of audience members a feel for the boredom and drudgery, as well as the danger and heroism, of real-life police work. The radio version, which ran from June 1949 to February 1957 was the brainchild of Jack Webb, who would star as Sgt. Joe Friday. The show made the successful transition to TV, enjoying two different runs.

“Chesterfield Supper Club,” a musical-variety program, aired five nights a week on NBC and starred Perry Como. The show began Dec. 11, 1944, and ran until 1950.  Many famous singers of the day appeared regularly, such as Jo Stafford and Peggy Lee.

Long-running situation comedy “Fibber McGee and Molly” premiered on NBC April 16, 1935, starring real-life husband and wife Jim and Marian Jordon. Through two wars and a depression, the show kept Americans laughing with reoccurring gags and regular characters, several of whom were portrayed by Terre Haute’s own Bill Thompson. For most of its 24-year radio run, the show was sponsored by S.C. Johnson Wax Co. Pitchman Harlow Wilcox was a regular character on the show, weaving a Johnson’s commercial into the fabric of the program.