Office of Public Affairs

(315) 312-2265

April 14, 2004

CONTACT: Kelly Cullinan, 312-3097


    OSWEGO -- Period music and dancing will fill the Waterman Theatre stage when the curtain rises on the SUNY Oswego theatre department's spring musical "The 1940s Radio Hour" on Friday, April 23.

    Directed by Jonel Langenfeld-Rial, assistant professor of theatre, this production showcases vintage music and dance steps along with its comedic storyline. Set in the 1940s, the show tells the story of a group of radio performers who dream of one day becoming successful stars.

    "'The 1940s Radio Hour' is a dance-rich show filled with happy, upbeat music," choreographer Cheryl Wilkins-Mitchell, an adjunct professor of dance at Oswego, explained.

    The choreographer said she believes the audience will fall in love with the show, due to the energetic dance numbers and music. The jitterbug and swing dances are among the styles choreographed for the production.

    Wilkins-Mitchell said she was proud of the students taking part in the demanding musical. "It took a lot of practice, practice, practice," she said. "The actors have a lot to accomplish. Not only do they need to memorize their lines, but they also have to learn certain dance and music numbers, which isn't that easy."

    Todd Graber of the college's music department is the show's musical director. In addition to this responsibility, Graber has a prominent role as the character Zoot Doubleman.

    "Zoot is the orchestra conductor who is the head musician behind the show," Graber said. "He's around 50 years old, and he's a tired character."

    As musical director, Graber is in charge of musical arrangements and ensuring that the singers and orchestra to learn their parts. The show's music favors the big-band standards of the era, such as "Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy," "Ain't She Sweet" and "That Old Black Magic."

    This is Graber's second show as a musical director at Oswego. He and Langenfeld-Rial previously collaborated on "The Secret Garden," the college's spring musical in 2003.

    A preview performance of "The 1940s Radio Hour" will be staged at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 22, with all seats available for $6.

    The show will continue with 8 p.m. curtain times April 23 and 24 and May 1, with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on May 2. Tickets cost $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, $7 for SUNY Oswego students.

    For information and reservations, call the Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141.

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Rehearsal image from '1940s Radio Hour'

MAKING NOTES -- From left, Megan McGarvey, Kevin Keleher and Erin Naughton rehearse a number for the upcoming SUNY Oswego theatre department presentation "1940s Radio Hour." The musical comedy about aspiring performers during the golden age of radio will open Friday, April 23, in Tyler Hall's Waterman Theatre. For tickets and reservations, call the Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141.

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