THE 1940s RADIO HOUR Opens at Farmington Players, 11/30

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THE 1940s RADIO HOUR Opens at Farmington Players, 11/30

The 1940's Radio Hour, a musical comedy by Walton Jones (based on an idea he hatched with Carol Lees,) takes you on a trip to Christmas season, 1942. Members of the "Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade," are preparing a final holiday broadcast for the troops fighting World War II. It's getting close to airtime at WOV in New York City, and the zany group is coping with backstage drama that threatens to botch their broadcast. Will they be ready in time?

Rachael Rose of Waterford Township directs this exciting musical comedy loaded with 1940's songs, dancing and old-time sound effects. The show, sponsored by Weinstein Jewelers of Novi, runs November 30 - December 22 at The Farmington Players Barn in Farmington Hills. "It truly is an ensemble show in that every part is important and almost everyone is involved in the action almost all of the time," says Rose. "From the moment the actors set foot on stage, the action and conversations never stop." Tickets are available now at www.farmingtonplayers.org or by calling the box office at 248-553-2955.

Colorful Characters & Audience Participation The musical deals with colorful characters, like the harassed producer whose leading singer is often drunk; the delivery boy who wants a chance in front of the microphone; the second banana who dreams of singing a ballad; and the flustered sound effects man who chooses a fighter plane over Glenn Miller. Audience members even get a chance to participate in the fun as the live radio studio audience. "By the time we go 'on the air,' the music overlays the already chaotic, comedic conversation, which makes it all the more frenetic," says Rose. "Basically it's like Noises Off set in the 1940's and to music."

Speaking of music, Rose is also proud of her Orchestra led by Music Director and her longtime friend Jose Reyes of Royal Oak. The score includes more than 20 toe tapping tunes like: "(I've Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo," "Love Is Here to Stay," "Ain't She Sweet," "Blue Moon," "Strike Up The Band," "I'll Never Smile Again," "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," "Jingle Bells," and more.

Rose is a military veteran herself, so her musical tribute to the troops in this holiday season holds a special place in her heart. She says she hopes audiences will enjoy "a feeling of family, camaraderie, support for the good ole U S of A and a spirit of patriotism that hearkens back to another era."

On Opening Night Opening night, Friday November 30th the Barn will transform into a vibrant scene from the 1940's, with the 17-piece "Swing City Big Band" playing "oldies" dance tunes at an afterglow party for all audience members. The Farmington Players will team up with show sponsor Weinstein Jewelers to throw the USO-type festival. The USO (United Service Organization) began entertaining troops during World War Two, and the Barn Party will attempt to capture some of that excitement with its special trip back in time. Additionally, hosts and hostesses wearing vintage clothing will work the lobby serving appetizers to patrons.

Show Dates & Times

Friday, November 30, 8pm
Saturday, December 1, 8pm
Sunday, December 2, 2pm (Senior Sunday $2 Off For Seniors)
Friday, December 7, 8pm
Saturday, December 8, 8pm
Sunday, December 9, 2pm
Friday, December 14, 8pm
Saturday, December 15, 8pm
Sunday, December 16, 2pm
Thursday, December 20, 8pm (Thrifty Thursday $2 Off)
Friday, December 21 8pm
Saturday, December 22, 8pm

Tickets are available at both www.farmingtonplayers.org and the box office at 248-553-2955. Adults: $18. Students: $2 off any performance. Senior Sunday: Dec 2 2pm ($2 off). Thrifty Thursday: $2 off ONLY on December 20. Group Discounts: $2 off any show with a group of ten or more people.

The Farmington Players Barn is located at 32332 W. 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills Michigan 48334. It's the big white barn on the north side of 12 mile between Orchard Lake and Farmington Rd.

CREW:

Director Rachael Rose (Waterford)
Asst. Director Mary Ann Tweedie (Novi)
Assistant Kristi Schwartz (Canton)
Musical Director Jose Reyes (Royal Oak)
Co-Producer Mary Winkler (Farmington Hills)
Co-Producer Marilyn Zerlak (Farmington Hills)
Choreographer Jarrod Henderson (Farmington Hills)

CAST

Pops Bailey Jeffery Nelson (Farmington Hills)
Stanley Joel Mapes (Livonia)
Clifton Feddington Jim Moll (Farmington Hills)
Wally Fergusson Michael Rose (Waterford)
Lou Cohn David Reinke (Novi)
Johnny Cantone Steve King (Farmington Hills)
Ginger Brooks Taylor Alfano (Livonia)
Connie Miller Grace Muawad (Grosse Pointe)
Neal Tilden Keith Firstenburg (Livonia, but grew up in New York)
Ann Collier Amy Lauter (Farmington Hills)
B.J. Gibson Joel Hunter (Commerce Township)
Geneva Lee Browne Brittany Davenport (Ann Arbor)
Zoot Doubleman Jose Reyes (Royal Oak)
Biff Baker Nick Simmonds (Livonia)

You can find The Farmington Players at www.farmingtonplayers.org and also on Facebook. The Barn began as an off-shoot of the American Association of University Women. Their first production, The Torchbearers, was performed at a local church. After performing in various city and educational locations, The Farmington Players moved into an old dairy barn located on the site of their present facility on West Twelve Mile Road. Initially, productions were staged downstairs on a dirt floor. Over the years, improvements to the original Barn transformed it into a more finished space, with the theater itself eventually moving upstairs into a traditional and finished setting. Since 1953, The Farmington Players have staged more than 192 different musicals, dramas, mysteries and comedies, all as a community theater with 100% volunteer membership. People from Farmington, Farmington Hills and beyond have come to recognize the group as a true community resource. Since the completion of its state-of-the-art facility in 2003, The Farmington Players Barn Theater has expanded its mission, serving as the site for city-sponsored events such as youth theater camps in the summer, concerts with groups as varied as Blackthorn and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and as a meeting place for various groups. The Farmington Players have been saving money over the years to enhance the onstage experience at The Barn. In November, 2009 they installed a new rigging system in the vast fly space. Show Directors are thrilled to finally have the ability to fly in flats and use drops to set scenes in a matter of seconds.

Pictured: Brittany Davenport (Ann Arbor), Grace Muawad (Grosse Pointe), Taylor Alfano (Livonia), Amy Lauter (Farmington Hills). Photos Courtesy Jim Kelly.

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