Christmas of 1942 was an era when the sounds of "Chattanooga Choo Choo" and "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" played in everyone's living room, and home audiences awaited news about World War II.
Brigham Young University will recreate that period on the Pardoe Drama Theatre stage Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. when it begins a 14-performance run of "The 1940s Radio Hour" as the holiday offering of the Theater and Film Department. The play can be seen Tuesdays through Saturdays through Nov. 26; a Monday matinee will be offered Nov. 21 at 4 p.m. Tickets are available through the drama ticket office, 378-7447.The musical, filled with singing and dancing, was written by Walter Jones and played on Broadway in the early 1980s as a tribute to the people who entertained on radio and those who listened more than 40 years ago.
"For anybody who likes that period, this show will really touch their hearts and bring back memories," says Patrick Debenham of the Dance Department, who is serving as both choreographer and director of the production.
As the production opens, the players are backstage at the radio studio getting ready for their Dec. 21 show from the Hotel Astor.
Characters include a boy and girl who like each other and are flirting, a Gracie Allen airhead type (fresh from Ogden, Utah, according to the script), a grumpy stage manager, the producer, the choreographer and the orchestra. A trumpet player, Biff Baker, is going off to war and this is the young man's last performance.
Karl Pope has created both the set and lighting design. He used a 1930s look (assuming that the building was built earlier) in purple, turquoise, mauve and gold. The curved set also includes a center where Steve Call of the Music Department will direct the university's Jazz Ensemble. Randy Boothe, also of the Music Department, is serving as musical director.
Costume designer Norene Pollei is using several dresses that were worn in the 1940s.
The ensemble cast includes Nolan Goodwin, Alex Gray, Allison Holsinger, LaRene Lewis, Kristi Monson, Marc Olivier, Rodney Olson, Todd Parmley, Scott Pickard, Jason Rasmussen, David Tinney and Scott Sessions.