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The spirit of radio

PEQUOT LAKES — These days, radio is an old-fashioned concept.

But before computers and television, radio provided the latest news and entertainment, connecting folks around the world.

Step back to that nostalgic time and enjoy The 1940’s Radio Hour, a “Play with Music,” by Walton Jones.

This opening production of the Pequot Lakes Community Theater season runs Nov. 11-13 and 18-20, with curtain at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sunday matinees. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 60 and older and $8 for youths 18 and younger.

Tickets may be reserved by calling (218) 568-9200. Tickets also will be available at the door one hour before each performance. Performances are at the Pequot Lakes High School Theater. The 1940’s Radio Hour is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc.

Full of 1940s music, dancing and old-time sound effects, the 1940’s Radio Hour portrays the final holiday broadcast of the Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade on the New York radio station WOV (“V” for “victory”) in December 1942.

A Christmas story with comedy routines and commercials for products like Cashmere Bouquet and Pepsi Cola, it includes 1940s hits “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “That Old Black Magic,” “Blue Moon,” Ain’t She Sweet” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” accompanied by a live band on stage.

Newcomers to the Pequot stage in the production will be Cole Barrows, Marjorie Harris, Robbie Newton, Cheryl Pedersen and Matthew Rollins. Veteran performers include C.J. Anderson, Matt Bonfig, Dylan Cuffe, Wendy DeGeest, Ben Gordon, Sharon Hartley, Peter Herzog, Jenny Kiffmeyer, Stanley Mikles and Cheyenne Syvertson. Director is Michael Sander, vocal director Lauren Nickisch, choreographer Wendy DeGeest, orchestra director Andrea Besnett and accompanist Renee Anderson, along with Kim Utesch, stage manager; Tim Leagjeld, set design; Sharon Hartley, costumes; Patricia Harris, props; and Trevor Kile, technical director.

The Pequot community theater cast ranges in age from 12-72 and some have lived the stories of the 1940s and others can only contemplate those stories as ancient history. C.J. Anderson, who’s in charge of special effects for the production, grew up in the 1940s watching his father, a sound engineer, record sound for Reid H. Ray Motion Picture Studio of St. Paul.

When asked about tuning into radio, Matthew Bonfig, 12, Merrifield, who plays Wally the delivery boy, said “The only time I listen to the radio is when I can’t go outside ... Oh, and in the car. But the 1940s music in this show is not even close to the music I listen to on the radio.”

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