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Go back in time with WCSU’s ‘The 1940’s Radio Hour’

image of (l-r): Grace McGovern, Victoria Wall and Cynthia Rivera in a scene from "The 1940's Radio Show"
image of (l-r): Grace McGovern, Victoria Wall and Cynthia Rivera in a scene from "The 1940's Radio Hour"
(l-r): Grace McGovern, Victoria Wall and Cynthia Rivera in a scene from “The 1940’s Radio Hour”

DANBURY, Conn. — The Western Connecticut State University Department of Theatre Arts will present “The 1940’s Radio Hour” from Dec. 4 through 8, 2019, in the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. Preview performances will be at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, and Thursday, Dec. 5. Public showings will be at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7; with 2 p.m. matinees on Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8.

Based on a book by Walton Jones, “The 1940’s Radio Hour” evokes a different time. It centers on a live broadcast of “The Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade” from the Hotel Astor’s Algonquin Room on Dec. 21, 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) is accurately captured with an interesting cast of characters. The show offers the opportunity to escape to a different time and become enthralled in this merry, joyous production.

The performers will include Derek Alexander, of Swansea, Massachusetts, as Wally Ferguson; Nate Bloom, of West Haven, as Stanley; Shea Coughlin, of Sherman, as Ann Collier; Dante Cyr, of Waterbury, as Lou Cohn; Colin Gallaher, of Wappingers Falls, New York, as BJ Gibson; Sumiah Gay, of New Haven, as Pops; Grace McGovern, of North Haven, as Connie Miller; Darius Mullens, of Plainfield, New Jersey, as Biff Baker; Alexander Niatopsky, of Wolcott, as Neal Tilden; Ryan Rappaport, of Orange, as Johnny Cantone; Cynthia Rivera, of Bridgeport, as Geneva Lee Brown; Dominick Ventrella, of Ridgefield, as Clifton Feddington; and Victoria Wall, of Wallingford, as Ginger Brooks. Benjamin Elliott, of Madison; Serena Kelly, of Auburn, Massachusetts; Michelle Shapiro, of Wantagh, New York; and Vitale Yenzer, of Farmingdale, New York, round out the Ensemble.

Members of the production team include Producer Pamela McDaniel, Director Phillip George, Music Director Howard Kilik, Choreographer Shea Coughlin, Scenic Designer Abigail Bueti, Lighting Designer Jason Kelly, Sound Designer Arielle Edwards, Costume Designer Kat Karl,

Production Manager Thomas Swetz, Production Stage Manager Kelly Soares, Assistant Production Manager Owen Smith, Technical Director Thomas Swetz and Technical Coordinator Kori Hansen.

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Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.