WMU News

'The 1940's Radio Hour' is nostalgic holiday fun

Nov. 22, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Big bands and nostalgia take the stage at Western Michigan University for one matinee and three evening performances Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 2-5, in the Gilmore Theatre Complex.

"The 1940's Radio Hour" portrays the final holiday broadcast of the Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade on New York radio station WOV in 1942. "The 1940's Radio Hour" captures the spirit of a nation maintaining its traditions in a time of war with a lively performance filled with tunes from the era, such as "That Old Black Magic," "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy From Company B," and "I've Got A Gal in Kalamazoo," plus Christmas favorites that will delight audiences

As part of the performance, theatregoers will serve as the studio audience during the WOV broadcast, during which nothing goes quite right, and the cast works to hide the mishaps from the folks listening at home.

Jay Berkow, the new director of WMU's Music Theatre Performance Program, stages the "The 1940's Radio Hour." He brings to the university almost 20 years of experience as a New York City director, choreographer and playwright. Berkow is also producing artistic director for the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre in Iowa.

The cast of "The 1940's Radio Hour" includes WMU seniors Kevin Coleman, Joel Gelman, Killian Patton and Jackie Sizemore; juniors Antonio Copeland, Lindsay Foreman, Amy Persons and Adam Steiner; sophomores Justin Goodemoot, Lars Valdor Haglund, Nick Kitakis and Sharmaine McGinnis; and guest artists Robert L. Smith, WMU professor emeritus of communication, and Jaimie Reed, who also serves as music director. The designers include students Zack Law, lighting; and Andy Palmer, sound; and faculty members Tim Hanson, scenery; and Kate MacKenzie, costumes.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 2-4 and a single matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5. An opening night reception sponsored by Roly Poly Sandwiches takes place after the Dec. 2 performance.

All tickets for "The 1940's Radio Hour" are general admission and may be purchased by visiting or calling the University Theatre Ticket Office weekdays between noon and 5 p.m. The phone number is (269) 387-6222. Tickets are $16. Senior citizens and WMU employees and students receive discounts on tickets to University Theatre productions.

The 2004-05 University Theatre season is made possible through a partnership with Millennium Restaurant Group.

Media contact: Patrick Donnelly, 269 387-6222, patrick.donnelly@wmich.edu

WMU News
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