UAFS Music and Theatre bringing 'The 1940s Radio Hour' to the stage

·2 min read
Wally Ferguson (Casey Goodson) is a local grocery delivery boy who hopes to make the show on WOV.
Wally Ferguson (Casey Goodson) is a local grocery delivery boy who hopes to make the show on WOV.

The Department of Music and Theatre at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith will present Walton Jones' musical "The 1940s Radio Hour" at 7 p.m., Dec. 3-4, in the Breedlove Auditorium.

"The 1940s Radio Hour" is a behind-the-scenes experience of live radio as the crew of WOV, a fictional New York City radio station, prepares and airs a live show in December 1942. The show features a live swing band, more than 20 tunes from the era, commercials, singers, comedy, and the drama between cast members on and off the air.

Johnny Cantone (Malcum Nobles) is a wise guy, ready to sing on WOV.
Johnny Cantone (Malcum Nobles) is a wise guy, ready to sing on WOV.

The cast includes performers who work day jobs while seeking fame on the air at night, hoping to be the next big star.

Characters include Johnny and his love interest, Ann, who sings for the boys and reads mail sent to her by soldiers overseas; a bubbly waitress named Ginger; young and determined performers, Connie and B.J.; Geneva, who has her own band; Neal, a cab driver who wants to be a featured vocalist; and local delivery boy, Wally, who knows all the routines just in case he gets his shot.

Guiding the crew is the broadcast producer, director and announcer, Clifton; stage manager and sound effects genius, Lou; master technician, Stanley; and “Pops,” an aging performer who thinks he's in charge.

Concern over one of their own leaving the next day to join the war overseas, the daily anxiety of performing while working their other jobs, and individual crises loom at the edges of the story as the characters navigate the funny and chaotic world of radio.

Stanley Gallagher (Tate Carnley) keeping the technical aspects of live radio running at WOV.
Stanley Gallagher (Tate Carnley) keeping the technical aspects of live radio running at WOV.

"The 1940s Radio Hour" is directed by Kevin Jones, professor of English at UAFS. Choreography is directed by Daniel Myers. UAFS accompanists and local musicians, Gini Law and Terri Bailey, are serving as pianists and vocal and instrumental directors. Law is also conducting the Zoot Doubleman Orchestra for this production.

The show stars Christopher Monterroza, Jamarion Davidson, Tate Carnley, Brieana McAfee, Tori Smith, Aylssa Foley, Charissa Johnson, Casey Goodson, Trent Gregory, Malcum Nobles, Gavin Garrett, Hunter Seegers and Houston Haught.

Members of the Zoot Doubleman Orchestra are Tommy Thavonekham, Ben Baker, Brian Bailey, Raul Ortiz, Bradyn Sanders, Shane Winford, Dylan Richmond, Destiny Riddle, Aanika Reilly, Lucas Davis, Gini Law, Eryn Pool and Arturo Hernandez.

Members of the Zoot Doubleman Orchestra, Lucas Davis, Ben Baker, Brian Bailey and Shane Winford.
Members of the Zoot Doubleman Orchestra, Lucas Davis, Ben Baker, Brian Bailey and Shane Winford.

Admission is $10 for adults and free for veterans, senior citizens, UAFS faculty and staff, and all students. For tickets, visit uafs.universitytickets.com or call 479-788-7300. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

Lou Cohn (Jamarion Davidson), Johnny Cantone (Malcum Nobles) and Pops Bailey (Chris Monterroza) playing cards, placing bets and preparing for the radio show.
Lou Cohn (Jamarion Davidson), Johnny Cantone (Malcum Nobles) and Pops Bailey (Chris Monterroza) playing cards, placing bets and preparing for the radio show.
Ginger Brooks (Aylssa Foley) explaining the importance of makeup and magazines in 1942.
Ginger Brooks (Aylssa Foley) explaining the importance of makeup and magazines in 1942.
Ginger Brooks (Alyssa Foley), Clifton Feddington (Hunter Seegers) and Connie Miller (Brieana McAfee) preparing a song for “The 1940s Radio Hour.”
Ginger Brooks (Alyssa Foley), Clifton Feddington (Hunter Seegers) and Connie Miller (Brieana McAfee) preparing a song for “The 1940s Radio Hour.”

This article originally appeared on Fort Smith Times Record: UAFS Music and Theatre bringing 'The 1940s Radio Hour' to the stage

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