Peoria Riverfront Museum

Peoria Keeps the Charm Coming

NOW A FAMOUS catchphrase that has come to define the thoughts and behaviors of the typical American citizen, “Will it play in Peoria?” had its beginnings in the vaudeville scene rampant in the central Illinois riverfront town in the ‘20s and ‘30s. As soon as a new act was ready for the stage, it was tested in a Peoria theater to gauge audience response. If it was not well received, it was either sent back for revisions or canceled altogether. If the vaudeville act played well, however, then it was believed to be destined for success.

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