Theatre at Barton’s Holiday Cabaret Presents “The 1940’s Radio Christmas Show” on December 7

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One show only!  Don’t miss this holiday treat!

WILSON, N.C. — December 1, 2019 — It’s the most wonderful time of the year as Theatre at Barton presents its Holiday Cabaret production of “The 1940’s Radio Christmas Show.”

The Kennedy Family Theatre will be transformed into the WKFT Radio Station, and theatre guests will celebrate the season as members of a special “studio audience.”

Don’t miss this holiday treat for the whole family as there is only one performance on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Get your tickets in advance online at www.barton.edu/theatre, Adult $12, and Senior, Military, Child $6 each, or bring an unwrapped toy to donate for admission to the performance, as Theatre at Barton joins Lee Motor Group, Inc., again for its annual TOYS FOR TOTS drive.

“Journey back to a time when America was desperate for information regarding loved ones who were stationed overseas during World War II,” shared Sherry Lee Allen, interim director of Theatre at Barton and artist-in-residence for musical theatre.  “News traveled quickly over the airwaves. War correspondents spent much of their time close to the frontlines with the troops, and their vivid broadcasts brought the war front right into the nation’s living room. Families gathered around the radio to listen, and the country worked together in civil defense efforts on the home front, as they were encouraged to buy War bonds and support the troops in any way possible.

“In addition to news events, radio also served as an important outlet for entertainment, and this “Golden Age of Radio” offered programming that was new and exciting.  It was a welcomed escape from troubled times, and everyone tuned in for their favorite crime drama, soap operas, variety or talent shows. There were also “remote location” broadcasts from Chicago or New York City, where Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, or Tommy Dorsey might be playing popular dance music in a well-known ballroom. Performers got their lucky break, while listeners chose their favorite singers and musicians without “seeing” the talent, but by “hearing” their sound. Sponsors seized the opportunity of advertising their products to the public and began using commercials to connect a celebrity or show with a simple cleaning product, toothpaste, shampoo, or beverage.”

The Barton cast will re-create popular jingles, bringing the WKFT radio station to life with six studio musicians, including Rita Bennett, Dale Bryce, Ron Baringer, David Daniels, Mitch Morton, and Jen Strassburg, under the musical direction of Bennett. Allen is the director and choreographer for this original production, assisted by Zachery Rayburn. The show will feature Broadway veteran Ray Walker as a guest artist leading the cast that includes Jamie Allen, Sherry Lee Allen, Linda Barrera, Alex Guyton-Lange, Ashley Keefe, Skylar McKinney, Zachery Rayburn, Garrett Smith, Synthandria Stockwell, Jenna Sutton, Brianna Tenhet, Daniel Toler, Julianna Wall, and Savannah Wall.

Faculty members Alan Lane and Jane Kolunie will join Barton students and theatre community members to deliver the Jukebox Saturday Night program and share holiday favorites with Theatre at Barton patrons.

A group of Christmas carolers will share traditional tunes, while the “Andrews Sisters” make a special appearance with their own brand of G.I. jive in this riveting radio drama that keeps the “perfect mayhem” just under 90 minutes.

Costume and props have been designed by Dorothy Austin-Harrell, with set and lighting by technical director Michael Dornemann. The  sound designer and operator is Nicholas Leek, with Alex Warren as the spot operator. The production stage manager is Allison Dellinger.

For additional information about this event, please contact Sherry Lee Allen at slallen@barton.edu or 252-399-6492.

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