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Theater Info for the Washington DC region

1940’s Radio Hour: The Good Ole Days Come to Life

By • Jul 17th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of CAST in McLean’s production of the 1940’s Radio Hour [MP3 3:59 1.1MB].

Laura: We saw the CAST in McLean‘s production of the 1940’s Radio Hour in McLean, Virginia.

Mike: The 1940’s Radio Hour takes place at a small radio station in New York City Christmas week of 1942. You get to hear lots of great big band music from the 1940’s. There’s also some funny sketches going on between the songs playing as commercials at the time. There are also a few surprises along the way including some stars that don’t show up. You have to get someone else to fill in: who will that be?

Laura: I really enjoyed this show. It was a lot of fun to watch. The singing and dancing were really well performed. The musicians did a really great job. I really like the energy level, too, that never stopped throughout the entire show.

Mike: This was a really fun show. We were probably among the younger set in the audience. Most of the audience was a bit older. But the music I actually did recognize a few of the songs. Not even the Christmas music, but some of the other songs they sang I did recognize. That was a little bit of a surprise, but that was fun. They did a really good job with it.

Laura: It was a fairly small cast. There were fifteen actors, a piano player, and the musicians. There really wasn’t one main star. Everybody was on pretty equal footing. I really enjoyed that.

Mike: One of the characters that I thought was really a lot of fun was Wally Ferguson played by Billy Gribbin. I don’t want to give the plot away. He was kind of an extra. He ended up with a more important role in the show. It was a lot of fun watching him run around the stage and getting under foot. And then being helpful and being a little confused about what to do next. Things like that. He did a really good job. He was a lot of fun.

Laura: Another one of the singers was Ginger Brooks, played by Rachel Goldman. She did a really good job, had a really nice singing voice. She was a bit flirtatious with the other male members of the show. She did her dance scenes well and her vocals very well also.

Mike: I really liked how they made the set look. They did a really good job with looking like a busy studio and office space for a radio station. Laura and I both used to work in radio, back in our younger days. It reminded me of some of the poor stations where I used to work in Southwest Virginia. And since this was taking place in 1942, they had a lot of set pieces, such as a Coke machine from it looked like the 1940’s. The pop bottles looked like the big thick glass bottles and that was really a nice touch that they got that detailed. They also had a sound man, a Foley man, over on the side doing the special effects for some of the sketches that they did. That was really nice to watch that. Something else to keep in mind is that The 1940’s Radio Hour takes place as a Christmas episode of the radio program. There are only a couple Christmas songs that they sing. The rest of the songs are simply 1940’s songs. You don’t have to go in thinking this is Christmas in July. It really isn’t. They also tell the story of A Christmas Carol as a serial adventure.

Laura: The 1940’s Radio Hour is playing through July 29th at the McLean Community Center in McLean, Virginia.

Mike: Laura and I last week interviewed the producer and the director of the show. You can hear that interview on ShowBizRadio.net. We also have the transcript available if you’d like to read through it. We encourage you to read through that and learn more also about the special events they are doing to help the community learn more about what it takes to do a show; also to learn more about the history of radio.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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