Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday's Favorite OTR

Escape: "A Tooth for Paul Revere" 7/4/48

Escape is my pick for old-time radio's favorite show and this entertaining adaptation of Stephen Vincent Benet's whimsical story of how the American Revolution really started is a great example of why it's the best.

A farmer who lives near Lexington in April 1775 has a sore tooth. He goes to the local barber to get it pulled. The barber, instead, suggests he go into Boston and see a silversmith named Paul Revere, who can fashion him a replacement tooth.

But when the farmer (who is himself indifferent to politics) gets to Boston, he finds tempers frayed and everyone on edge. The British military occupation of the city is raising tensions and the farmer soon finds himself fleeing from an angry Redcoat.

When he accidentally ends up in possession of a small box made by Revere--a possibly magical container that the silversmith claims actually contains the American Revolution--the farmer realizes that it's time to take sides and make a decision.

Harry Bartell plays the lead role, using an endearing New England accent. The script is excellent, moving the story along quickly and clearly both in terms of plot and theme. It all makes you wish it was true--that there was a little bit of magic mixed in with our country's early history.

You can listen to and/or download the episode HERE.

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