The Crosley Radio Players return to the new dinner theater at the Tuscany Restaurant in Paris, Ill., Sunday. A complete buffet dinner, with drink and dessert, plus the Crosley Radio Players’ 75 minute show, costs $17.
The Players will be featuring episodes of “Suspense,” “Your Hit Parade” and “Our Miss Brooks.” Many of the sound effects used will be generated live, just as they were when the shows were on radio.
Buffet service begins at 5 p.m. CDT with the Crosley show about an hour later.
“Suspense,” which was called “radio’s outstanding theater of thrills” was one of the longest-running dramas from the Golden Age. The program ran for 20 years on the CBS Radio Network and featured many well-known actors of the day, such as Agnes Moorehead, Orson Welles, Henry Fonda and Cary Grant. The show’s high production standards even influenced later television shows, such as “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and “The Twilight Zone.”
The long-running musical show “Your Hit Parade” debuted April 20, 1935, on NBC and bounced between NBC and CBS until after World War II. Dozens of singers and band leaders appeared on the show, including Frank Sinatra and Doris Day. But the bulk of the singing was done by the “regular” cast of the show, as the producers wanted to highlight the songs instead of the singers. For the entire radio run, the show had only one sponsor: Lucky Strike Cigarettes. The radio version lasted until Jan. 16, 1953.
“Our Miss Brooks” premiered on CBS July 19, 1948, and ran until 1957, by which time the situation comedy had made the transition to TV. Eve Arden starred in the title role. Gale Gordon, later to be known for his work with Lucille Ball, starred as Mr. Conklin, the principal of Miss Brooks’ high school. Squeaky-voiced Walter Denton was portrayed by Richard Crenna, who would go on to a lengthy career in both TV and movies.
Reservations are recommended, as seating is limited. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Tuscany or by calling 217-466-1610.
Tuscany is at 1218 N. Main St. (Illinois 1).