Theater Review in
1940s Radio Hour
Smyrna Beach, Feb 23, 2001
- Make sure you go see "The 1940s Radio Hour," which
opened last weekend at the Little Theatre of New Smyrna Beach.
It is a delightful production.
toe-tapping musical by Walton Jones is a behind-the-scenes look
at a live broadcast of Radio Station WOV's "The Mutual Manhattan
Variety Cavalcade" from the Hotel Astor's Algonquin Room
in New York City on Dec. 21, 1942.
it is a live radio simulation, there is no intermission during
the performance, but believe me, you won't miss it. This talented
ensemble cast does a terrific job creating the spirit of that
by-gone era when the world was at war, and songs such as "Boogie-Woogie
Bugle Boy" and "I'll Be Seeing You" were popular.
production opens with "Pops Bailey," played by Stan
Sanders, sleeping at his desk. He does a great job as the crusty,
crotchety stage doorman, who is a bookie on the side.
Harris plays radio technician/engineer Stanley, and is right at
home with the role since he works in broadcasting as a DJ.
Hazard does a wonderful job as Clifton Feddington, announcer and
general manager who is always running around the station in a
state of panic and hysteria.
talented Charley Verba plays Zoot Doubleman, who leads WOV's little
on-air band, and is also the shows musical director.
Guilbeault just about steals the show as fumbling delivery boy
Wally Fergusson, who is always hanging out back stage hoping for
a chance in front of the microphone. He gets his chance at the
microphone to sing the ballad "Blue Moon," when Biff
Baker doesn't show up. He and Hazard do the vaudeville "who's
on first" routine and they are both fantastic!
Campbell is wonderful as the officious and well-dressed stage
manager Lou Cohn, who tries to keep everything running smoothly.
David Jenkins plays suave, debonair crooner Johnny Cantone to
the hilt. He's perfect as the gambling and hard-drinking lead
singer who hopes to begin an acting career. He does a great job
singing "Love is Here to Stay." Kerry McGonigal does
a great job playing Ginger Brooks, a bubble-headed waitress turned
singing star and give a wonderful rendition of "Blues in
Schmidt is delightful as Connie Miller, the youngest and most
enthusiastic member of the Variety Cavalcade. It was a treat to
listen to her sing "Daddy" and "Five O'Clock Whistle,"
and join the others singing Pepsi and Chiquita Banana commercials
and "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B." Three cheers
for Dave Wingate who plays Connie's squeaky-clean boyfriend, B.J.
Gibson. This is his first theater experience, but judging from
his singing and acting talent, it won't be his last. Veteran actress
Tess Siconolfi plays Ann Collier, the featured vocalist, who has
been with the Cavalcade since it started. Her rendition of "Black
Magic" is wonderful.
H. Lyle plays high-class jazz singer Geneva Lee Browne. She sings
"I Don't Know Why" and "I Got It Bad." This
is her first musical theater role and she pulls it off effortlessly.
Krista Dresser does a good job of stealing the show as the beautiful,
but not too smart, script girl Peggy. She is an attention-getting
blond bombshell from the moment she "minces" across
the stage in her tight skirt, with her shoulders thrown back and
her chest pushed out. The audience loved her.
Macdonald as Larry, the technician, and Amy Dresser as Collier's
niece Amanda, round out the cast. Even though they have small
parts, their presence is felt on stage and they are an intrinsic
part of the cast.
Johnson has done a wonderful job directing this talented group
of people in this terrific production. The same can be said for
musical director Charley Verba. Musicians include Charley Verba
on drums and pianists Margaret Pike and Mary Lou Keenan. David
Christian is the stage manager, Bill Roehrborn is technical director,
and Mary Monnier is the set decorator.
are handled by Camille Dickinson; lights and sound by Ryan Jenkins;
costumes by Rose Dingas; make-up by Karin Jenkins, and hair styles
by David Jenkins. Performances continue tonight, Saturday, March
2 and 3 at 8 p.m. Sunday matinees are Feb. 25 and March 4 at 2
p.m. Ticket are $15, adults; $14, seniors; and $7 under 18.
Little Theatre box office, 726 Third Avenue, will be open tonight
and March 2 from 2-8 and March 1 from 2-5 p.m. The box office
will open at 6 p.m. for Saturday evening performances and noon
for Sunday performances.
423-1246 or visit www. NsbPlayers.org for more information.