For the latest round of e-interviews, we have quite a few comments from some of the talented actors who are part of the musical The 1940s Radio Hour, which wraps up this weekend.
I'll be running these posts over the next few days (collect all the interviews in the series!), starting with this question:
Why did you want to be part of The 1940s Radio Hour?
Joshua Jannotta: To have the opportunity to work with Bruce Rous and Gene and Coni Anthony again, after 10 years.
David Vickers: When I heard that ARTS was doing a musical show set in the 1940s and it involved a radio show, I was eager to take part. I love the music from that era and the radio copy is just golden! Then at the first reading I found out that Sarah Hayes and Mary Olsen were involved, I knew it was going to be great, having admiring their work when I was fortunate to be on the cast of 5th Avenue's production of ANNIE 5 years ago. I have just moved back to the Huntington area and wasn't familiar with Bruce Rous but I'm a big fan of his now! He's done a great job! I have also seen Bil Neal in recent productions and welcomed the opportunity to be on stage with him! He's great! The whole cast is!
Linda Reynolds: I love working with Bruce & Coni & Gene and the actors involved are all very talented friends so it was a no-brainer. Wait till you hear Mary Olson sing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” WOW!
Amy Knell: The first thing was I love ensemble pieces and this is a great ensemble piece, I love the music from that era and I enjoyed working with Bruce Rous so much during The Odd Couple that I wanted to do it again.
Bil Neal: I didn't want to be a part of the cast - this is the craziest time of year for me in my "day job," and I committed to produce the show. Once we finally got the ensemble together, we were still missing the role of Lou, the Stage Manager. On one hand I didn't want to scratch a project I believe so strongly in, on the other I (selfishly, I admit) didn't wanna miss out on the opportunity to work with these people. I mean, really - getting to dance with Linda Reynolds (and a gigantic boa)? Can you even call that a decision?
Stephen Vance: When Bruce first presented this show as an option about this time last year, we were all a little skeptical because it was an "unknown." After I got my hands on a copy of the script and finished the first read-through, I realized he was really on to something. First of all, the characters are all people we know. Each of them are rushing from their "day jobs" to put on a show. Sound familiar? Second, I love this era. The songs are still in the original arrangements that the big bands played back in the 1940s. Finally, and probably most importantly, I thought it would be a huge opportunity to honor the veterans. With the "show within the show" being dedicated to the boys, what greater thing could we do than honor the boys who have grown up and made our country what it is?