Short-Term Stay Rental Retirement Community
Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear Old Time Radio Recreations Troop presents “Trading Places with Jack Benny and Fred Allen,” at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 15, at the Oak Park Arms retirement community, 408 S. Oak Park Ave.
What happens when two of radio’s top comedians try to outdo each other by doing each other’s shows? Jack Benny’s show, “Who is the Better Comedian?” originally aired on March 17, 1946. “The Big Show” with Fred Allen originally aired Nov. 5, 1950.
A reception with coffee and cookies will follow the performance.
Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear is composed of Chicagoland actors and voice over artists who share a common interest – to perform old time radio programs for the community. Each actor and technician donates talent and time for free.
Group founders, Ben Dooley and Pam Turlow, husband and wife, established a connection with The Oak Park Arms in September of 2002, when Turlow’s father became a resident. They’ve been volunteering/performing at The Arms ever since.
Dooley and Turlow’s group performs only once every two months due to the considerable challenges involved in creating a show. They browse through thousands of old time radio episodes, select a favorite, listen and type out the script. Many shows are not available in print and have to be painstakingly transcribed. Then they gather sound effect, rehearse and mount the show.
Sound effects were an important part of live radio shows, and the group performs them live. They have a real door for slamming, buzzers, a sound board and shoes for footsteps, and doorbells.
The shows are very popular with residents and people from the community. Some even bring their children and grandchildren to show them what entertainment was like before television.
“Since the entire cast donates its time and energy, we can only do shows six times a year,” Dooley said, “but we strive to make sure that each show is well worth the wait.”
The Oak Park Arms is a rental retirement community which provides independent and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.
The radio show is free and open to the public. For more information call 708-386-4040.