THE SHOW MUST GO ON!
And the 1940’s Radio Hour takes the audience on a nostalgic trip down memory lane with a backdrop of the second World War, setting the stage for swinging big band music and the song and dance teams, old fashioned situation comedy of more innocent nature: Welcome to a LIVE BROADCAST of “ The Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade” from the Hotel Astor’s Algonquin Room on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 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) as the harassed Producer copes with a drunk lead singer, the delivery boy who wants a chance in front of the mike and the second banana who dreams of singing a ballad. All ages and ethnic actors considered! Great comic roles with fun 1940’s singing and dancing! The radio program is seen through the eyes of the theatre audience who become the actual 1940s radio station audience.
CAST & CHARACTER DESRIPTIONS
Pops” Bailey – age range: 60+, non-singing role
WOV radio station stage door keeper. A former vaudeville comedian, still has great comedic timing. Crusty and
crotchety with Neil, BJ and Wally, admires Johnny Cantone, genuinely fond of Ann Collier. Was in World War I and has a
son in the Pacific. Lovable in his cantankerous way, non-singing role.
Lou Cohn – age range: 40 – 50, non-singing role
WOV stage manager. Plays the big shot in charge, always has multiple conversations going at once, repeats almost everything Clifton says. The surrogate boss during rehearsals. Always trying to impress Ginger Brooks. Handles the
sound effects and cues the audience during the radio show
Clifton Feddington – age range: 40+, baritone
WOV general manager, chief salesman, announcer and founder of the Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade. The man in charge. MUST use a radio announcer voice and delivery. Always worried and harried, runs the gamut of stages of hysteria, treats every radio show as though the whole world is listening.
Neil Tilden – age range: 30+, baritone
The station comic, drives a cab. Son of the wealthy Tildens of Grammercy Park but was cut out of the will for being “a bum in show business”. Wants to be important, but is a whiner, always sneaking around doing things he is not supposed to do (and getting caught). Always trying to undermine other members of the station cast to build himself up. A little slow on the up-take. Physical comedy skills a plus for this character.
Ann Collier – age range: 35+, alto
The station featured female vocalist – class all the way. Has a sultry, smooth voice like Helen Forrest, Margaret Whiting and Judy Garland all mixed into one. During the day works as an executive secretary at a large corporation. Has been married once before, currently “dating” Johnny Cantone. Has a soft spot in her heart for “Pops”.
Geneva Lee Brown – age range: 28+, alto
High-class black singer from Kansas City; think Ella Fitzgerald or Pearl Bailey. Sassy, fun-loving. Has a group of her own with which she plays other spots when she is not performing at WOV. She is always performing and loving it.
Connie Miller – age range: 18+, soprano
Bobbysoxer from Ogden, Utah. Naïve, enthusiastic, always in love. “Seriously dating” BJ Gibson. Should be able to move well, jitterbug and tap a plus for this character. An elevator operator at the Astor Hotel during the day.
Johnny Cantone – age range: 35+, baritone
Featured male vocalist at the station, a Sinatra wannabe. Always dressed to the nines, drinks too much, drinks during the radio show. Wears a wedding ring, but his wife left him years ago. World weary, realizes his chance has passed him by but does not accept it.
Ginger Brooks – age range: 25+, alto
Bubble-headed waitress turned radio star discovery of Lou Cohn’s who found her in a restaurant where she still works. A combination pin-up girl and Gracie Allen.
BJ Gibson – age range: 18 – 24, baritone
The third of the Gibson brothers to work for Clifton. Preppy, a student at Yale who commutes to the weekend rehearsals and Monday night performances at WOV. Dating Connie Miller. Should be able to move well, jitterbug and tap a plus for this character. Eager to please, secretly idolizes Johnny Cantone.
Wally Ferguson – age range: 17 – 24, baritone
Poodle-eyed young hopeful from Allentown, PA who came to New York to work for his uncle at the drugstore and hopefully get his big break into show business.