A different time is evoked in this marvelously theatrical and winning show, a live broadcast of a The Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade from the Hotel Astor’s Algonquin Room on December 21, 1942. The spirit of that bygone era, when the world was at war and pop music meant “Strike Up the Band” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (both are in this show), is accurately captured as the harassed producer copes with a drunk lead singer, the delivery boy who wants a chance in front of the mike, the second banana who dreams of singing a ballad, and the trumpet-playing sound effects man who chooses a fighter plane over Glenn Miller.
Author: Walton James, Based on an idea by Walton James and Carol Lees as originally produced by The Ensemble Company and Yale Repertory Theatre and further developed by the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. Broadway production presented by Jujamcyn Productions, Joseph P. Harris, Ira Bernstein and Roger Berlind.
The second offering of the season was was a lively musical revue based on the music of the 1940’s, aptly called, “The 1940’s Radio Hour” and sponsored by Heartland Bank and Trust Company. The stage was designed as a working radio station of the era. The show received high praise for all aspects of the production. The reviewer stated that this show was a pre-holidays evening of sentiment and song for the whole family. In the program was a faux program about the radio show the audience in the studio would experience that evening, including performers biographies.