1947-07-31 Bright New Star

Bright New Star is a rather pedestrian entry in the Casey series that involves jealousy in the casting of a play as an old star fades and a new one emerges, and the perils of fraud and getting involved with the wrong people.

ADC's continuity notes...
The title is "Bright New Stars" in the notes, which implies the notes are prepared before broadcast, where the title is in the singular.
A beautiful but unknown young actress, Allyson Stevens, draws Casey and Ann Williams into a thrilling murder mystery. Miss Stevens has drawn rave notices from theatrical critics in the out of town try-outs of a new musical comedy produced by an old-time Broadway impresario, Hartley Owens. Owens, both as a publicity stunt and because of Allyson Stevens' importance to his show, insures the life of the bright new star for $250,000. On the evening before the plays opening, Casey and Ann interview Owens at the theatre. where they meet Bernice Rolfe, a well-established star who has been relegated to the second lead by Allyson’s magnificent performance. They also meet Murray Solano, a racketeer and admirer of Allyson and who plainly has been used by the ambitious girl as one stepping stone in her career. And now that her success is assured, she is anxious to get rid of him. The next evening, a few hours before the scheduled opening of the play, Allyson is found dead in her hotel suite. Several members of the cast of the new play, including Bernice Rolfe and Solano have neighboring suites to Allyson’s and are implicated. Judging by his past criminal record, his motive and opportunity  for the brutal murder, suspicion falls on Solano who disappears. Acting fast in a thrilling climax, Casey and Ann discover the murderer in an eerie and mysteriously exciting solution to the case.

The $250,000 insurance is $3 million in 2020 terms.
SRO is an acronym for "standing room only."

Cole is always blending elements of New York City and Boston in the Casey program's locale. This episode is a distinctly New York episode with the emphasis on big money in theatrical productions.

17:00 Ethelbert tells Joe that Colonel Bernstein, another character with no spoken lines, wants another mint julep. The bar is out of mint but Joe says he will get it. Ethelbert complains to Casey that Joe lets things go behind the bar. Casey and Ann are a bit in disbelief as they know Ethelbert is not the most organized, either.

20:00 Ethelbert is full of information from the bartenders grapevine. It turns out that gangsters Big Jim Maxon and Heinie Troutman owned shares. Owens sold 140% of the show!

22:49 We know there’s a gun when Logan says “gimme that gun” once Owens shows while Logan attempts to handcuff him.

Roger DeKoven played Hartley Owens. DeKoven had a very good career on Broadway and a gig on the TV soap Days of Our Lives, as well as numerous television and movie roles. He was also in many episodes of CBSRMT. https://www.amc.com/shows/mad-men/talk/2013/05/episode-9-handbook-roger-dekoven
He was listed in Red Channels but signed various documents that got him out from under the worst of it.

The most famous incident of selling “watered stock” in a play that is expected to fail is The Producers. Newspaper searches did not yield any particular news item that may have inspired Cole. The Producers was inspired by Mel Brooks experience with generally failed producer Benjamin J. Kutcher who would get money from elderly widows and spinsters to finance awful plays and productions. Brooks had also noticed that producers of failed productions still seemed to live well. That's not the case in this Casey episode: the lesson learned here is if you're going to commit stock fraud, don't take money from gangsters.

Another treatment of gangsters and Broadway is Woody Allen's Bullets over Broadway
Allen's film was inspired by a sketch of the same name while he was a writer for Caesar's Hour in September 1955.

Gangsters and actresses and funding of plays was part of Mae West's life
and also a 1929 film Broadway https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0019725
Cole drew from a common real-life plotline that would have been very familiar to listeners. West's financier was gangster Owney Madden (who owned the famous Cotton Club), and perhaps the name of Hartley Owens in this episode was partly derived as "Owney" and "Owens" are similar. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owney_Madden

Casey 47-07-31 196 Bright New Star UPGRADE.mp3
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1947-07-31 Mason City IA Gazette
Press releases may have had the title as "Stars" and not "Star" as many radio timetables had the plural. The title is singular when announced on the broadcast.
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 3 1947-107