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December 13, 2012

Crosley Radio Players to perform Christmas show

PARIS, ILL. — The Crosley Radio Players return to the new dinner theater at the Tuscany Restaurant in Paris, Ill., on Sunday for its annual Christmas show.

Tuscany, at 1218 N. Main St. (Illinois Route 1), will be offering a complete buffet dinner, with drink and dessert, plus the Crosley Radio Players’ 80-minute show, for $17.

The Radio Players will be featuring episodes of “The Whistler,” “Your Hit Parade” and “Our Miss Brooks.” All shows will have a Christmas theme. Many of the sound effects used will be generated live, just as they were when the shows were on radio.

“The Whistler,” one of radio’s top mysteries which aired from May 16, 1942 until Sept. 22, 1955, followed a formula in which a person’s criminal acts were typically undone either by an overlooked but important detail or by their own stupidity. On rare occasions a curious twist of fate caused the story to end happily for the episode’s protagonist. Ironic twist endings were a key feature of each episode.

“Your Hit Parade” debuted April 20, 1935, and kept America entertained on Saturday nights until Jan. 16, 1953. The show had occasional guest stars, but preferred to use its own stable of singers to help promote the songs. The previous week’s top songs were presented in a count-down format. For the entire 18-year radio run, the show had only one sponsor: Lucky Strike cigarettes.

“Our Miss Brooks” premiered on CBS July 19, 1948, and ran through 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 strongly suggested, as seating is limited. Tickets may be purchased in advance at Tuscany in Paris, or by calling 217-466-1610.

Buffet service begins at 5 p.m. CST, with the Crosley show at 6:15.

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