The 1940's Radio Hour
Play with Music by Walton Jones. Based on an idea by Walton Jones and Carol Lees.
St. James Theatre, Broadway. Opened 7th October, 1979; Closed 6 January, 1980 (105 perfs & 14 previews)
Full of 1940s music, dancing and old-time sound effects the play portrays the final holiday broadcast of the Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade on the New York radio station WOV in December 1942.
Fabled WOV, a seedy little New York radio station takes to the air at the beginning of World War II, this time to record a broadcast for the troops overseas.
The narrative concerns the harassed producer whose leading singer is often drunk, 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.
Cast of Characters
- Clifton Feddington: The announcer and general manager (head of everything at WOV). He has ulcers from it all and is sometimes hysterical.
- Ann Collier: The 'old standard' in the Radio show since its start in 1936. She sings like Dinah Shore, Doris Day, and Peggy Lee (all rolled into one). She is a secretary by day, and at looker by night who is dating Johnny.
- Johnny Cantone: Featured vocalist with the Cavalcade who is on Sinatra's bandwagon. He's an ex-boxer and a rough guy who drinks too much and has a voice like velvet.
- Ginger Brooks: A bubble-headed waitress-turned-singer. She has a pinup, Betty Grable look with lots of makeup and speaks with a Gracie Allen vacancy.
- Neal Tilden: Cab driver by day and singer, dancer, and choreographer at night. He is hopeful for the 'featured vocalist' slot.
- B.J. Gibson: The third of the Gibson brothers to work for the Cavalcade. He is squeaky-clean, good looking, and a preppy student at Yale.
- Connie Miller: A bobbysoxer from Ogden, Utah. She is perennially in love and runs an elevator by day.
- Pops Bailey: A crotchety, wizened stage doorkeeper who is a racing bookie on the company phone and reads hidden copies of Show Girl magazine.
- Lou Cohn: A big shot (at least in his own mind) who tries to impress the girls and is sometimes obnoxious. He runs the show and is the sound effects man.
- Wally Ferguson: Young hopeful from Altoona, Pennsylvania who came to NYC to work for his uncle at the drugstore to get his big show-biz break.
- Biff Baker: A young trumpet player with the Zoot Doubleman orchestra who will be leaving after the concert for Army duty.
- Stanley: Lugs cable and runs around a lot and otherwise lives in the control booth.
- Zoot Doubleman: WOV Orchestra Leader
- I Got a Gal From Kalamazoo - Clifton, Chorus
- Pepsi Cola - Neal, B.J., Connie, Ginger
- Daddy - Connie, The Band
- Love Is Here To Stay - Johnny
- That Old Black Magic - Ann
- Ain't She Sweet - Biff, All
- How About You - B.J., Connie
- Blue Moon - Neal
- Chiquita Banana - All Girls
- Rose of the Rio Grande - Geneva, Men & The Band
- I'll Never Smile Again - Johnny, Quintet (Neal, B.J., Ann, Ginger, Connie)
- Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy - B.J., Connie, Ginger
- Blues in the Night - Ginger, Men
- Jingle Bells - All (except Johnny)
- I Got It Bad - Geneva
- You Go To My Head - B.J.
- The Five O'Clock Whistle - Connie, The Band
- Merry Little Christmas - Ann
- Strike Up The Band - Full Company
- I'll Be Seeing You - Full Company
- Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade - Full Company