Tribute to Bob Hope and the radio stars of the ’40s will show Sept. 15
UPDATE — 9/17/17 — This event has been cancelled.
VISALIA – In the days before television, families and friends gathered around the radio to listen to their favorite programs. Radio brought the country together by creating a shared experience that all Americans could share simultaneously.
Most evening programs were presented live, including the effects and commercials. “On the Air: A tribute to Bob Hope & Radio Stars of the 1940s” will be performed at the Visalia Fox Theater this Friday, Sept. 15. The show is presented as a 1940’s NBC Bob Hope radio broadcast featuring Chuck Carson as the on-stage staff announcer, side kick reading vintage commercial copy with a humorous touch, playing jingles of the era. Bob Hope opens the show with a comedy monologue and a song. He closes the show with a Salute to Veterans segment titled “What Is A Veteran” and his famous theme song, “Thanks for the Memories.”
“Since Bob Hope is the only individual ever given the title Honorary Veteran Of The Armed Forces by an act of Congress, we honor all veterans during the performance. WW2 to Korea, Vietnam, The Gulf War, Desert Storm and Afghanistan. It’s our salute to America’s heroes,” stated the shows writer and director, Chuck Carson.
The show is a nostalgic look at the era with contemporary humor as Carson will interact with Bob Hope (portrayed by Lynn Roberts) and his radio and movie star guests. There is also an audience participation “sing-a-long” with Red Skelton as “Deadeye.”
Roberts has the talented task of bringing some of the era’s largest personalities to life during the show, including Red Skelton, Jack Benny and Jimmy Durante. Following each performance, Carson said he and Roberts, still dressed as Bob Hope, go to the theatre lobby to meet the audience.
“At lease one person will always ask where is the actor who played Jack Benny or Jimmy Durante not realizing Lynn has done all the parts. This is a strong indicator of how well he captures the persona of each legend,” Carson says of Roberts.
Roberts is an actor/impressionist as well as a long time musician. In recent years he has spent most of his time “on the road” in Phoenix Producers Groups other Bob Hope tribute shows, “On The Air” and “Hello Vietnam” as well as “Bob And Bing’s Road Show”. He also brings the persona of legendary comedian Jack Benny to audiences around the U.S. starring in “Heavenly Laughter- Benny Fiddles While George Burns!” This show offers Lynn an opportunity to not only play the violin, as only Jack Benny could, but he also has the opportunity to show his musical talents with the clarinet, alto saxophone and trumpet as well. Roberts also stars in “Red Sails Into The Sunset,” a sincere tribute to Red Skelton.
Carson wrote, produced and is director off all five of the productions. He has also written, produced and narrated documentaries for Up in the Air Pictures and Phoenix Producers Group. Chuck continues as a voice over artist and resides in Fresno, Calif.
Tickets for “On the Air: A Tribute to Bob Hope & Radio Stars of the 1940s” start at $15 and can be purchased at www.ticketfly.com. For more information, visit www.foxvisalia.org. Doors open at 6 p.m. with show time at 7 p.m.