Enchanting Big-Band Musical, ‘The 1940’s Radio Hour,’ Coming to River Campus


Presented by the Department of Theatre & Dance, “The 1940’s Radio Hour” will run Wednesday, Oct. 1, through Sunday, Oct. 5 in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall located in the Cultural Arts Center at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.

This big-band musical is filled with the character and music of a bygone era when the world was at war and popular music meant “Boogie-Woogie Bugle-Boy,” “That Old Black Magic,” “Blue Moon,” and “I’ll Be Seeing You.”

The New York Times raved, “No one will want to walk out on the commercials: Chiquita Banana, Eskimo Pie, Nash.”  From a hard-to-resist “potpourri of music and song” – more than 20 numbers played by on-stage musicians – to the meticulous sound effects, “The 1940’s Radio Hour” is a good and heart-warming show.”

After being thanked for “coming out and braving the snow,” the studio audience, watches as the cast members file in, brushing themselves off.  One heads for the soda machine, while another calls his bookie.

Overheard amid the chaos, “I’m sweatin’ bullets.” “Lou, I need a Bromo.” “This is radio, Wally.”  With all that, it’s difficult to miss Ginger fussing around the set, pacing and primping, thumbing through a movie magazine.

“This war stuff is really boring,” Ginger mutters. It’s Dec. 21, 1942, the night of the special Christmas show on WOV (V for Victory) radio being broadcast live “to millions of homes, and it’s being transcribed for the very special guys overseas.”

“The 1940’s Radio Hour” is being directed by Broadway veteran and internationally acclaimed director, Dennis Courtney, who was secured for this special project on a grant from the Missouri Arts Council.

“Audiences will fall in love with ‘Radio Hour,’ and they will delight in Mr. Courtney’s extraordinary talent and unique vision for this musical,” said Dr. Ken Stilson, professor of acting and directing in the Department of Theatre & Dance.  “You don’t want to miss this one.” 

Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain Street, weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by calling (573) 651-2265.  Tickets also may be purchased online at metrotix.com, keyword “radio” or by calling toll free: (800) 293-5949.