‘1940’s Radio Hour’ Debuts on December 4 at Reitz Theatre

1940DUBOIS, Pa. – Comedy, nostalgia, and patriotism are just part of the exciting mix of the Reitz Theater production of Walton Jones’ “The 1940’s Radio Hour” which debuts on Friday, December 4, at 7:30 p.m..

The production will also be shown on December 5, December 10, 11, and 12 at 7:30 p.m. and two Sunday shows on December 6 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

It’s December 21, 1942, and the live broadcast of a The Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade from the Hotel Astor’s Algonquin Room in New York City gets ready to hit the air! The story features harassed producer Clifton Feddington (Joe Lehr), lead singer Johnny Cantone (Al Reitz) who is often drunk, comedian Neal Tilden (Dave Nagele III) who dreams of singing a ballad, delivery boy Wally Ferguson (Alex Haines) who wants a chance in front of the mic, and young trumpet-player Biff Baker (Curt London) who chooses a fighter plane over Glenn Miller.

Director Deborah Whitaker says she’s looking forward to opening night.

“The show is a direct fall back to the Golden Age of Radio,” Whitaker says, “complete with Big Band music, comedy routines, commercials and sound effects all done live.”

The production is loaded with a variety of minor story lines mixed in with the radio show itself.

“There are so many stories that intertwine through the show,” Whitaker adds, “and the characters have a history with each other. Seeing them work together to bring the show to life is a joy to watch.”

The show is a tribute to the days of variety programs that aired that were also shipped to soldiers overseas to hear and let them know that the folks at home are supporting them. The production is reminiscent of shows like “Command Performance,” a radio show that focused on soldier requests.

With the military support-based theme, the Reitz Theater is doing something special with a “Military Appreciation Day” on Sunday, December 6. During both performances at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., active and retired military personnel can enjoy the production free with ID. Director Whitaker thought the idea was appropriate.

“The men and women who served our country honor us by serving,” Whitaker says, “It’s only right to honor them in this way.”

The theater will also be collecting new, unwrapped toys for the Marine Corps Reserves’ Toys for Tots campaign, so that children in Clearfield County can have a good Christmas.

Tickets can be purchased at the Reitz Theater Box Office, Kohlhepp’s True Value Hardware in DuBois, or online at www.reitztheater.com. Those with season tickets can reserve their seat by calling the Reitz Theater at 814-375-4274.

For more information about the production, or the upcoming 2016 season, call the Reitz at 375-4274, or go online at www.reitztheater.com.

The Reitz Theatre is located at 36 East Scribner Avenue, DuBois, Pa.

[Photo above: Members of the cast of “The 1940s Radio Hour” run through their paces. (L-R): Hannah Wallace, Joe Lehr, Ginger Lehr, Joe Taylor, Nikki Cherry, Drew Gordon, Joe Sensor, Diane Laubacker, Nicki Gutowski, Dave Nagele III, and James Neiger. (Missing: Alex Haines, Al Reitz, Curt London)]

(Article submitted by Andi Kohlhepp)

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