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Cortland Repertory Theatre's THE 1940'S RADIO HOUR to Open 7/31

Cortland Repertory Theatre invites audiences to step back in time to the 1940's during their fourth show this summer with the charming musical comedy "The 1940's Radio Hour". Performances of this tuner will run from July 31st - August 10th with evening performances at 7:30. Matinees are available on August 2nd, 6th, and 7th at 2:00 PM. Tickets may be purchased by calling 800-427-6160 or at the CRT Box Office at 24 Port Watson Street in Cortland. Tickets are also available for sale 24 hours a day through the CRT website at www.cortlandrep.org. The show is suitable for all ages and a wonderful way to introduce the younger generation to the classic music of the 1940's.

Take a trip back to a bygone time with this marvelously theatrical and winning musical that ABC-TV called "fun with a capital FUN"! The date is December 21, 1942. Our boys are overseas and Christmas is just a few days away. Join the cast members of The Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade as they gather in the "Hotel Astor's Algonquin Room" (actually a run-down NYC studio) to broadcast a live radio show, complete with songs, dances, comedy routines and commercials. Characters include the frantic producer and show host, the tipsy Sinatra-style lead singer, the delivery boy with stars in his eyes, and the second banana comedian who dreams of being taken seriously. Also along for the ride are the "Mickey and Judy" pair of young hopefuls, the slightly bawdy blues singer, the trumpet player who has chosen a fighter plane over Glenn Miller, and the stage manager trying to keep everything together. The fantastic cornucopia of hit songs includes Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Strike Up the Band, I Got a Gal in Kalamazoo, You Go To My Head, Blues in the Night, Ain't She Sweet, and many more.

Directing and choreographing the show is long-time CRT director Jim Bumgardner, whose previous work includes "Brigadoon", "Agatha Christie's The Hollow", and "South Pacific", to name a few. After having worked on "Buddy" earlier this summer, Ithaca College music director Joel Gelpe returns to serve as music director and to also play Zoot Doubleman, the radio show's music director.

Marc Goldhaber returns to CRT to play Johnny Cantone, the lead crooner on the radio program. Goldhaber has appeared on the CRT stage in productions of "The Pajama Game", "Leading Ladies", "My Way: The Music of Frank Sinatra", and currently has a successful career as a jazz singer in New York City. Continuing his summer at CRT is Joel Stigliano, who appeared in "The Unexpected Guest", "Buddy" and "The Full Monty", and will play Stage Manager Lou Cohn. Jerielle Morwitz, seen in "The Full Monty" plays jazz soloist Ann Collier. Ayana Major Bey, last seen in "Buddy" portrays blues singer Geneva Lee Browne. The CRT Performing Interns are given a chance to shine in this production with Danny Burgos playing taxi-driver turned comedian Neal Tilden, Clara Childress as sexy singer Ginger Brooks, Anastatia Teel as young, fresh-faced Connie Miller and Nate Whipple as the eager delivery boy Wally Fergusson.

Returning to CRT after appearing in last year's production of "CATS" is Stephen Brower, playing the young song-and-dance man B. J. Gibson. Joining CRT for the first time are David Brown as the radio program host and producer Clifton A. Feddington, and local actor Doug Walls playing "Pops" Bailey, the doorman for the radio station.

Rounding out the cast is CRT Sound Designer Seth Asa Sengel playing Stanley Gallagher, the radio station's sound man, and Ithaca College graduate Sam Thurston as trumpet player Biff Baker who heads off to war the next day. Completing the band is Will Sigel as Neeley "Flap" Kovacs on percussion, Stephen Fasteau as Ned "Woof" Bennett on sax, Shannon Berndt as Bonnie "Snookie" Davenport on bass and Justin Oswald as Bob "Bobo" Lewis on trombone.

Laura Krouch handles stage management duties, while Alexander Woodward and Greg Solomon make their CRT debut as scenic and lighting designers, respectively. Frequent CRT Costume Designer Wendi Zea returns, having previously designed "The Unexpected Guest" this summer. Props Designer Lisa Guild, Technical Director Nicholas Ryan and Assistant Stage Manager Kait Samuels continue their summer work with this production.

CRT continues "Friday Night Talk Backs" at which a Q & A session with the actors, designers and crew takes place after every Friday evening performance. Tickets are also on sale for the remaining CRT shows - "Shipwrecked: An Entertainment", and "I'll Be Back Before Midnight".


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