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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Hillbarn clock radio needs work

Not many people today remember the live broadcast of the Manhattan Variety Cavalcade from the Algonquin Hall at the Astor Hotel in New York on December 21, 1942. December 19th.

The 1940s Radio Hour includes some great songs such as Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Chattanooga Choo-Choo, Ain’t She Sweet and That Old Black Magic.

Moreover, there are seven reputable musicians on the stage, led by music director Rick Reynolds, who also plays the piano. There hasn’t been a live orchestra for the musical Peninsula for a long time.

As with another “radio show” currently staging at TheaterWorks Silicon Valley, this one has large neon signs that light up to let viewers know the show is “live” and encourage them to “applaud.” The latter is mostly for the show, as the 16-member lineup itself drew a lot of applause.

Production Designer Eric Olsen worked with director Michelle Greenberg-Shannon to create spacious space for big actors to sing, dance and hang out in the background when not invited to perform. Four microphones are installed at the front of the stage, allowing singers to at least pretend to be singing in them, even if they are wearing body microphones.

And as a sign of Christmas: there is a lit tree in one corner, as well as garlands of colored lights, garlands and wreaths to decorate the set.

The essence of the plot is that an extremely tense radio producer (Ray D’Ambrosio) shouts orders and shouts to all of his singers to come on time and rush to rehearse their songs. D’Ambrosio sings great when he joins the ensemble.

Sadly, too many of his castmates are mediocre singers at best, and some of them even hit a few nasty notes – not very well, as the 19 songs they perform are the heart of the show, requiring strong vocalists.

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Some are doing their job. Tall redhead Anne (Gillian Boder) sings “Black Magic” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and joins the ensemble on several songs. Mark P. Robinson, who plays the slightly tipsy singer Johnny Cantona, nails his numbers: “Love is here to stay” and “I’ll never smile again.”

As Connie, tiny Kylie Abukai poses a triple threat. She has a strong singing voice, dances without socks and can act.

Two other actors stand out in particular: Joe Gloss plays Biff, a young man just enlisted in the military, and he also plays the trumpet in the orchestra. As Ginger, Fionna, O’Neill brings a refreshing audacity to Blues in the Night and The Horn.
But while Phaedra Tilleri Bouton (Geneva) dresses and looks like a blues singer, her renditions of Daddy, Rio Grande Rosa and Lullaby are pretty lackluster.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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