The Wimberley Players have announced February 12 as the opening for “1940s Radio Hour” at the Wimberley Playhouse. It’s a refreshing entertaining trip down memory lane to World War II with this new production.
A small 5000-watt New York City radio station (WOV), is trying to hit the big time with a radio broadcast to the troops overseas. The leading singer is often drunk, the delivery boy wants a place in front of the mike, a second stringer wants to be a balladeer, and the sound effects man has his own agenda. The theatre audience becomes the radio station’s studio audience for “The Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade” program.
“The1940s Radio Hour” reveals how a radio broadcast is put together and what can go comically wrong, undetected by the people listening at home. A seven-piece onstage orchestra plays big band favorites from the 40’s, such as “Kalamazoo,” “Blue Moon,” “Ain’t She Sweet?” “Blues in the Night,” “You Go to My Head,” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”
“The 1940s Radio Hour” was written by Walton Jones and is directed by Jennifer McKenna. Producer is Kay Allison and musical director is Jonna Beck. Carole Hofstad is choral director and rehearsal pianist.
The orchestra consists of bass (Guy Ben Moshe), trumpet (Sean Palmer), trombone (Tom Van Tassel), drums (John King), piano (Robert Scott FitzGerald), saxophone (Robert Eaton) and tenor sax (Donna Heath).
Several actors are Wimberley veterans: Juli Dearrington, Derek Smootz, Gary Yowell, Dan Stephens, Robert Scott FitzGerald and Reed Neal. Rounding out the cast are Abreeta Goode, John Kenneth Harder, Laura Cannon, Alexandra Russo, Benjamin Wright and Andy Fleming. Robert Scott FitzGerald and Sean Palmer have stage roles as well as orchestra parts.
“As a director of many other shows,” says McKenna, “The 1940s Radio Hour” is like no other I have directed. As a period piece, it touches on many themes close to my heart, including love of country and fellow man, music and dance. With a very talented cast of Wimberley favorites and some Austin newcomers to embody these very real characters in the early days of World War II, this is sure to be an early winter treat. If you like music, if you like dancing, if you like theatre, this is the show to come and see.”
“The 1940’s Radio Hour” will run February 12 – March 7. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 8:00 pm and Sunday shows are at 2:30. Tickets are $18 except opening night ($25, with a reception at 7:00), and may be purchased online at www.wimberleyplayers.org or by calling 512-847-0575.