FRIDAY April 21st

      The Evergreen Room is open all day Friday and Saturday with merchandise for sale.


8:15 am     Registration Opens


8:55 am  – 9:05 am Opening Ceremonies

Greetings from John and Larry Gassman who start off the 2016 SHOWCASE with a few opening remarks.


9:05 am  – 9:50 am  Karl Frunz  takes us on a Journey Into Space   

Journey with Karl Frunz as he takes us into the world of  this lesser known but fascinating 1950s science fiction program produced by BBC radio featuring Captain “Jet” Morgan and his crew who are the first astronauts to reach the moon, and what they find there is truly astonishing!       It was the last UK radio program to attract a bigger evening audience than television. Karl will share with us all exactly what made this program great!


                                              10:00 am  – 10:45 am  Lucy: Behind the Scenes

Lucy: Behind the Scenes
Gregg Oppenheimer, whose father, Jess, created I Love Lucy, takes us behind the scenes to the creation of this landmark series and its evolution from Lucy’s hit CBS radio sitcom, My Favorite Husband. Lucy aficionados won’t want to miss Gregg’s personal accounts of stars like Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Gale Gordon, and Bea Benaderet. The presentation includes a performance of scenes from Gregg’s original radio play, I Love Lucy: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom, based on his father’s memoir, Laughs, Luck…and Lucy.

              11:00 am – 12:00 Noon   Lux Presents Hollywood  featuring LITTLE WOMEN

( Full Cast Performance)

In 1949 MGM released this remake with script and music taken directly from the earlier 1933 Hepburn version.  Based on Louisa May Alcott’s novel of the same name, it was filmed in Technicolor and directed by Mervyn LeRoy. The 1949 version featured June Allyson, Elizabeth Taylor, Janet Leigh and Margaret O’Brien.   Little Women is the story of the March sisters and their romances. Four girls whose loves and ambitions are completely different but who are bound together by happy family ties. The Lux Radio presentation stars four of the original stars from the Metro Goldwyn Meyer 1949 film, June Allyson, Peter Lawford, Margaret O’Brien and Janet Leigh.  The program comes to the REPS Radio Soundstage with live music and sound effects with a special appearance by Margaret O’Brien – one of the original stars of the 1949 film.  A wonderful, heart-felt story brought to life through the magic of live radio theater.


1:30 pm – 1:55 pm ABC RADIO THEATER FIVE  ( Full Cast Performance)

Radio drama returned to the ABC Radio Network in 1964 with the premiere  of Theater Five. The production values, polish, direction, sound engineering, and acting were all top notch. Indeed many of the finest voice talents from The Golden Age of Radio appeared on the program including Fred Foy ( best known as the man who intoned “The Lone Ranger” on radio and TV ) who was hired as the announcer for Theater Five.  REPS SHOWCASE will present a story first heard October 6, 1964 called “The Last Land Rush“.  An imaginative story in the day, in the not-too-distant future, when overpopulation is a more serious problem. Millions of visitors to the World’s Fair have watched a giant computer register the increase in the world’s population minute by minute. The government has decided to allow citizens to claim land on highway medians by inviting citizens to line the state highways at noon on the 30th of the month and wait for the starting gun. Any citizen who can stake and hold an area of land for 24 hours will become the owner, but at what price?


2:00  pm – 2:30 pm Morris Less   (Full Cast Performance)

The Adventures of Morris Less: Crime Blogger is a laid-back thriller about high school graduate Morrie Less, who lives in his mom’s basement and dreams of starting his own detective agency.  When a fish and chips restaurateur is murdered, and the police come up empty, Morrie gets his big chance to crack the case! This new audio dramedy was written by Roger Kim and stars Bryan Hendrickson and Ellyana Muller.


2:45 pm – 3:45 pm     Behind the Scenes:  Gunsmoke

According to legend, In the late 1940s, CBS chairman William S. Paley, a fan of the Philip Marlowe radio serial, asked his programming chief, Hubell Robinson, to develop a hardboiled Western series, a show about a “Philip Marlowe of the Old West”. Robinson instructed his West Coast CBS Vice President, Harry Ackerman, who had developed the Philip Marlowe series, to take on the task.  Radio historians John and Larry Gasman go behind the scenes of this legendary radio series, that spawned the iconic TV series,  to bring us a fascinating look at the creative forces who came together to create the “adult” western.  Critics agree that Gunsmoke was one of the finest and well crafted shows on radio which ran on CBS radio until 1961.


                                 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm    Suspense!   (Full Cast Performance)

Radio veteran Stuffy Singer stars in this tale well calculated to keep you in Suspense!  The story is set on the planet Mars in the year 2053 and opens on the day before the first rocket ship from Earth is expected to land. The citizens of Mars aren’t thrilled about the arrival of the Earthlings, but they knew it would happen sooner or later.   In response, the Martian Grand Council decides to put Plan X into effect. All Martians have been trained in the proper execution of this plan for the last fifty years and know what to do. The Grand Council also needs to appoint someone to head the mission and greet the Earthlings, but on Mars, diplomats have been obsolete for many years. Instead, the person with the necessary character traits for the job is selected by the Grand Council’s computer. It chooses Xeno, an assembly line worker from an escalator factory.


                                                  4:30 pm – 5:00 pm     Bathysphere    (Full Cast Performance)

In August of 1939, Arch Oboler had just completed his four year run at the helm of  Lights Out ( the best known horror drama in radio ).  Lights out was late night radio fare airing at 12:30 am Eastern Time bringing chills to radio listeners in the midnight hour.  Just five months prior to the end of the 1939 Lights Out late night run, Mr. Oboler began producing another series for NBC titled  Arch Oboler’s Plays. This was Oboler’s breakout dramatic showcase over Radio. The series established Oboler’s versatility and range, while underscoring Oboler’s growing appeal to a far wider audience than he’d already established with Lights Out!  On November 18, 1939 the series dramatized a story titled Bathysphere about a  ruthless dictator seeking to be remembered for more than his political and military conquests by breaking the record for the deepest ocean dive in history. But the bathysphere operator accompanying him has his own agenda for the expedition… Two outstanding acting performances (Hans Conried and George Zucco) lend crucial believability to a contrived premise in which the oppressed is allowed to confront the oppressor (a favorite device of Oboler’s propaganda plays), clarifying their opposing views in the process. The story was re-dramatized in 1964 and featured Tommy Cook in the cast. Bathysphere will be  presented on the REPS Radio sound stage and will once again feature a special appearance by Mr. Tommy Cook.


  6:30 pm – 7:00 pm     The Jack Benny Program  –  (Full Cast Performance)

It’s time for comedy and laughs as we turn back the clock and present a full cast presentation of the Jack Benny program  originally heard on CBS in 1949.   Tom Stewart as Jack Benny, Stuffy Singer as Dennis Day, and Phil Proctor as Phil Harris. The gang’s all back! What better way to start off the evening as we find  Jack  packing to go on a trip to Houston, Texas to serve as master of ceremonies for the big charity football game the following Saturday.  Once Mary drops Jack off at the train station,  that’s when the hilarity begins.


                     7:15 pm – 7:45 pm    Suspense Theater  (Full Cast Performance )

  

TWO SISTERS STRANDED AND OUT OF GAS ON A DESERTED COUNTRY ROAD AND A MAD KILLER LURKS IN THE VICINITY
Radio veteran Anne Whitfield stars in this captivating tale well calculated to keep you on the edge of your chair!   The kind of story  you’re just waiting to see brought to the REPS radio soundstage as an audio sensation!


 8:00 pm – 8:30 pm    My Friend Irma  (Full Cast Performance )

My Friend Irma: “The Lonely Hearts Club”
Beverly Washburn stars as Irma and Jeannie Russell co-stars as Jane in this hilarious 1948 installment of the hit Cy Howard CBS Radio comedy, directed by Gregg Oppenheimer. A “compatibility quiz” in a magazine convinces Irma to break up with her boyfriend, Al (played by comedy legend Phil Proctor). So she joins a Lonely Hearts Club in the hopes of finding her perfect match.

REPS Brings you Beverly Washburn and Jeannie Russell starring in My Friend Irma.


8:30 pm – 9:30 pm        Ice Cream Social

Showcase’s opening night will be topped off with sweet treats shared with our special guests. Join us for a delicious and fun . . . ICE CREAM SOCIAL


 

SATURDAY April 22nd

The Evergreen Room is open all day Friday and Saturday with merchandise for sale.


8:15 am     Registration Opens


8:55 am  – 9:05 am Opening Comments

Greetings from President Dan Crist who opens up Saturday’s events with a few opening remarks.


                                                                                9:05 am – 9:55 am     A Conversation with . . .

Sharon Baird (Mickey Mouse Club) , Jon Provost (Lassie) , Jeannie Russell (Dennis The Menace), Phil Proctor (Firesign Theater, Rugrats ) and Melinda Peterson ( As the World Turns ).


                                       10:00 – 10:45 am   The Wicked Wit of the West  ( Author Hank Rosenfeld)

 The Wicked Wit of the West is a wonderful book by Irving Brecher as told to Hank Rosenfeld. If you love vintage show business, this book is a must-read and this presentation is not to be missed.

Who is Irving Brecher? Virtually the last man standing from the era of vaudeville, radio comedy, and the Marx Brothers’ heyday, the screenwriter of Meet Me in St. Louis, and he created “The Life of Riley”—on radio, in the movies, and as the very first television sitcom!

Irv convinced Judy Garland to star in Meet Me in St. Louis, wrote Bye Bye Birdie, and gave Jackie Gleason his first TV series and a new set of teeth. The “Wicked Wit of the West” (as Groucho dubbed him) tells juicy tales about Hollywood legends John Wayne, L.B. Mayer, Jack Benny, George Burns, Ann-Margret, Ernie Kovacs, Cleo the bassett hound, and of course, Groucho, Harpo and Chico.

The Wicked Wit of the West is an unconventional but entertaining book, full of great stories, wonderful show business memories, rants and salty opinions and author Hank Rosenfeld will bring us much of that as he can to the REPS SHOWCASE.


               11:00 am – 12:00 Noon    African Queen      –  (Full Cast Performance)

Margaret  O’Brien and Tommy Cook star in this  radio performance  first  heard on the Lux Radio Theater Dec 15, 1952.  The African Queen is a 1951 British-American adventure film adapted from the 1935 novel of the same name by C. S. Forester.  The film was directed by John Huston and produced by Sam Spiegel.   The film stars Humphrey Bogart (who won the Academy Award for Best Actor – his only Oscar), and Katharine Hepburn.

In our story,  Samuel Sayer  and his sister Rose  are British Methodist missionaries in the village of Kungdu in German East Africa at the beginning of World War I in August/September 1914. Their mail and supplies are delivered by a small tramp steamer named the African Queen, helmed by the rough-and-ready Canadian boat captain Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart), whose coarse behavior they tolerate in a rather stiff manner.

 When Charlie warns them that World War I has broken out between Germany and Britain, the Sayers choose to stay on, only to witness the Germans burn down the mission village and herd the villagers away. When Samuel protests, he is beaten by a German soldier. After the Germans leave, Samuel becomes delirious with fever and soon dies. Charlie returns shortly afterward. He helps Rose bury her brother, and they set off in the African Queen.

       1:00 pm – 2:00 pm A Visit with Imagination Theater

After a very long run of producing  quality audio drama, and with devoted fans worldwide, our friends at Imagination Theater decided to close shop just about a month ago.    For years, faithful fans listened and fell in love with recurring characters such as Harry Nile ( a Seattle based Private Detective ),  The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,  Hillary Caine Mysteries, Michael Kincaid Strangeseeker, and others intriguing characters.  For actors it was a unique experience reminiscent of the radio dramas of yesteryear which most were to young to remember. The connection to radio’s past was unmistakable but the dramas were not marketing nostalgia.  The series strove hard to create stories and situations that appealed to a modern radio listener and for this reason the program developed a very loyal base of fans over the years.  But as all good things must come to an end, REPS will take a moment this afternoon to bid a find farewell to the series that captivated the modern imagination.  Larry Albert and other cast members will share stories and their personal memories of being a part of a very unique experience.


2:15 pm – 2:45   Radio City Playhouse –  (Full Cast Performance)

Radio City Playhouse was one of the last of a long series of premium Drama productions NBC offered as flagship, sustaining productions over the years. As with it’s previous premium dramatic and Classic music productions, NBC spared no apparent expense to mount these flagship efforts. And it shows. NBC, yet again, brings the greatest voice talent, writing, and technical direction to this anthology of wonderful, popular modern dramas. Beverly Washburn and Ivan Cury star in “Blackout”  first heard on August 15, 1949.  For most people a new day is just beginning but for Johnny an evening has just ended. His expensive suit is wet and torn and one sleeve of his jacket is missing entirely, his nose has been bleeding and the blood is caked on his shirtfront. But Johnny doesn’t care about any of this because Johnny is a pathological drinker. Nobody seems to mind this except his wife, Jane, because Johnny is charming. He loves people and every body and when he’s drunk he thinks everybody loves him.  The situation that morning quickly changes when a man is found murdered and all evidence seems to point to Johnny as the murderer.


3:00 pm – 3:45   A Conversation with Margaret O’Brien

We are delighted to have film, radio and television star, Margaret O’Brien join us for this very special visit.   She began her prolific career as a child actress in feature films for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer at the age of four, O’Brien became one of the most popular child stars in cinema history and was honored with a Juvenile Academy Award as the outstanding child actress of 1944. Radio was a second home for Margaret O’Brien as she regularly appeared on the top rated radio programs of the day.  Join us for this very special afternoon as we welcome screen legend Margaret O’Brien to the REPS SHOWCASE.


4:00 pm – 4:30 pm     Dennis The Menace  –  (Full Cast Performance)

Jeannie Russell stars in this radio adaption of the classic 59-63 TV Series starring Jay North.  In the original television series, Jeannie played Margaret Wade.  In her return to the Dennis Menace series (for radio) , Jeannie will assume the role of Mrs. Alice Mitchell (Dennis’ Mom).  REPS introduces two young performers to the radio sound stage —  Richard Glaman who will play  Dennis the Menace and Josie Davila Campbell who will play Margaret Wade.  All of your favorite characters return,  including good old Mister Wilson , in this story selected by Jeannie Russell herself.   We hope you will enjoy the afternoon of mayhem and madness as we bring you our version of Dennis the Menace sponsored by Campbell’s soups.


4:30 pm – 5:10 pm     Mr. Blandings Build His Dream House  –  (Full Cast Performance)

Gregg Oppenheimer directs a large and talented cast in this 1950 NBC radio adaptation of the Cary Grant-Myrna Loy-Melvyn Douglas screen hit. Comedy legend Phil Proctor and his wife, actress Melinda Peterson, star in the Cary Grant and Myrna Loy roles, with Larry Albert taking over for Melvyn Douglas.

The story centers around Jim Blandings a bright account executive in the advertising business, who lives with his wife Muriel  and two daughters, Betsy  and Joan , in a cramped New York apartment. Muriel secretly plans to remodel their apartment. After rejecting this idea, Jim Blandings comes across an ad for new homes in Connecticut and they get excited about moving. Planning to purchase and “fix up” an old home, the couple contact a real estate agent, who uses them to unload “The Old Hackett Place” in fictional Lansdale County, Connecticut.  It is a dilapidated, two-hundred-year-old farmhouse. Blandings purchases the property for more than the going rate for land in the area, provoking his friend/lawyer Bill Cole to chastise him for following his heart rather than his head. The old house, dating from the Revolutionary War-era, turns out to be structurally unsound and has to be torn down.


Saturday Night

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm     Banquet With the Stars

Saturday Evening is a  highlight of the weekend — Banquet with the Stars!  Our special guests will join us for a wonderful meal  (Your choice of New York Steak, Grilled Salmon, Stuffed Boneless Chicken or Vegetarian Lasagna ). Enjoy conversation with friends and special guests who will be seated at most tables.


7:20pm -7:45  FIRESIGN THEATER

The Firesign Theater returns with Phil Proctor and David Ossman performing classic routines from the archives.  Today’s sketch “The Firesign Theater . . . or something like it!”


7:30 pm – 8:45 pm     Arne Zaslove’s Big Broadcast

A smash big – time radio variety hour, with music and laughs featuring the finest comedy, drama and historical moments from radio yesteryear.   It’s a big show that you will not want to miss.  Produced and Directed by Arne Zaslove.

SUNDAY April 23rd

9:00 am  – 10:00 am  Sunday Brunch with the Stars

                                                                  A great breakfast and one last chance to visit with our special guests.     


  

                   10:00 am  – 11:30 am Salute to the Life and Career of Beverly Washburn


                

Beverly Washburn

 
REPS will be honoring screen Beverly Washburn.  We are planning a very special salute for this very classy and celebrated star on Sunday April 23rd.   We plan  to feature thoughts and memories from friends, family and notable Hollywood personalities who worked with Beverly in movies, pictures and on radio.  Her notable radio work includes The Jack Benny Show ( as one of the Beverly Hills Beavers ).