New York Times: WVXU and CCM revive rare Rod Serling baseball comedy

UC’s College-Conservatory of Music and Cincinnati Public Radio station 91.7 WVXU have co-produced a long-lost baseball comedy by The Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling. Recently featured by the New York Times, the radio play titled, “O’Toole From Moscow,” airs on 91.7 WVXU at 8 p.m. this Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

The New York Times describes the comedy as “a screwball romp, with a side of whimsy.” Read the full article.

Cast and crew members stand in a line and smile in the radio studio

The “O’Toole From Moscow” team, from left: WVXU engineer Josh Elstro, Frankie Chuter, Matt Fox, Chandler Bates, director Richard Hess, Cameron Nalley, Jack Steiner, Austin James Cleri, Dustin Parsons, Sammi Grant and Lucas Prizant. Photo/John Kiesewetter

Long-time baseball fans will enjoy Serling’s script and hear references to some of baseball’s biggest stars of the 1950s including: Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berri, Stan Musial and Ted Kluszewski.

In “O’Toole From Moscow,” a Russian consulate staffer named Mushnick is being sent back from New York to Moscow for re-education because of his high absences due to attending Brooklyn Dodgers games at Ebbets Field. So Mushnick and a muscular Russian security officer named Joseph Bishofsky hop a train and go as far west as their money will take them – to Cincinnati. Bishofsky panics in Cincinnati and goes to the Reds office to turn himself in, mistaking the baseball team for his Russian comrades. Mushnick bursts in to explain that Joseph – whom he calls “Joseph O’Toole” – is an outfielder wanting a tryout. The Reds give O’Toole a shot, and he ends up being a better slugger than Kluszewski – until the Russians find him.

Feature image at top: Dialect coach Sammi Grant (foreground) with cast members (from left) Austin James Cleri, Chandler Bates, Cameron Nalley, Lucas Prizant, Frankie Chuter, Matt Fox, Jack Steiner and Dustin Parsons. Photo/Richard Hess

/University Release. View in full here.