CINCINNATI, OH – August 2, 2017 — Off Book Theater Company at Mt. Washington UMC , a new theater company in Cincinnati’s eastern suburb of Mt. Washington announces auditions for 1940s Radio, a Christmas Carol, book by Walton Jones, music composed and arranged by David Wohl and lyrics by Faye Greenberg. Directed by Judy Berrens and Music Directed by Dennis Betz.
Auditions are: Sunday, August 20 and Monday, August 21, 7-9pm at Mt Washington UMC 6365 Corbly Road Cincinnati, Ohio 45230.
The long-awaited sequel to the popular The 1940s Radio Hour. It’s Christmas Eve, 1943, and the Feddington Players are now broadcasting from a hole-in-the-wall studio in Newark, NJ, and set to present their contemporary “take” on Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. Whether it’s the noisy plumbing, missed cues, electrical blackouts, or the over-the-top theatrics of veteran actor, but radio novice, William St. Claire, this radio show is an entertaining excursion into the mayhem and madness of a live radio show. St. Claire’s escalating foibles and acting missteps propel the show to a simultaneously comedic and heart-wrenching dramatic climax: St. Claire has an on-air breakdown, and begins to connect his own life with that of the classic Dickens tale. In order to “save the show,” the company improvises an ending to Charles Dickens’ classic as a film noir mystery, featuring a hardboiled detective, a femme fatale, and an absurd rescue of Tiny Tim (and the Lindbergh baby) from the clutches of a Hitler-esque villain named Rudolf!
Cast consists of the following 8 Male and 4 Female roles as well as a small studio choir. The roles of Cliff Feddington and Toot’s Navarre have been pre- cast.
CLIFTON FEDDINGTON – 55 year-old Mutual Announcer, front man for WOV’s Nash-Kelvinator Mystery Theatre. Wears wire-frame glasses like Glenn Miller. Known for being cheap. Has a crush on Judith.
WILLIAM ST. CLAIRE – 70 year-old, retired star of stage and screen. With a great mane of dramatic white hair, William is a bit of a curmudgeon and looks down on radio as one of the bastard children of the stage. William’s 31 year-old son David was killed in the Air Force in France in June 1943. A guest performer in tonight’s show, Mr. St. Claire plays Scrooge.
CHARLES “CHOLLY” BUTTS – 35 year-old funny man. Has a day job as a baker at Weequahic Diner (where his specialty is the nesselrode pie). A little stout. Lives in Jersey City, with his wife, Midge, has no kids, and has a hopeless and unrequited crush on Margie.
FRITZ CANIGLIARO – Once an east-coast Florsheim Shoe salesman (and still plugs them whenever he gets an opportunity for a little commission), now a WOV regular. The resident masher, cynic and wise-guy, Fritz plays Frank Nelson cameos in comedy sketches. In his early 40s.
“LITTLE” JACKIE SPARKS – Not actually “little,” but young. A tenor with a high speaking voice. Having just graduated from high school, Jackie, only 17, lives with his mom in suburban Newark. Calls home probably a dozen times a day. Teased a lot. Still has a Sunday paper route.
JUDITH DAVENPORT – Although quite the cutup herself, Judith is the resident “leading lady” playing all such roles as a regular. Has two kids and two ex’s and wants no more of either. Determined and stubborn. Considers herself a “legit” actress. Day job working as a switchboard operator. In her 30s.
MARGIE O’BRIEN – Brassy, flippant, with a voice to match (think Ginger Rogers in “Stage Door”). As a show regular, plays the comic roles. This 30 year-old Irish-American comedienne lives with her two sisters, Zazu and Vi, in a two-room apartment in Queens. She works days as a bookkeeper/typist/stenographer/receptionist.
SALLY SIMPSON – 20 year-old Sally seems sweet and gentle, but is a tough lady. Lives on the lower east side of Manhattan. As a show regular, plays all animals, babies, insects, little kids. Makes the long train ride to Babylon, Long Island, three days a week, to contribute to the war effort by working for Republic Aviation operating drill presses and riveting guns. Always trying to recruit the other WOV women to join “the cause.”
ISADORE “BUZZ” CRENSHAW – His life is his work. The 24 year-old “sound effectician” at WOV. Has a sharp wit and is always agreeable, whistling, and in a good mood. Born and raised in Bayonne by his Aunts Lulu and Gilly. Wears an FDR button. Spends a lot of time with Sally Simpson. Buzz lives alone.
TOOTS NAVARRE – Musical director, composer and pianist/organist for the Mystery Theatre. (Could be a man or woman.) Besides his/her usual musical chores for WOV, he/she and his/her wife/husband Faith/Frank provide both underscoring to the radio drama as well as their new and old holiday songs for the broadcast.
ESTHER LEWIS PIRNIE – Backstage audio engineer and transmitter supervisor for WOV Radio.
HAROLD J. MULLINS – Concierge of the Hotel Aberdeen in Newark.
Auditions will include 16-32 bars from a song from the period and cold readings from the script. An accompanist will be provided and you must bring sheet music for the accompanist. No karaoke CD’s please. Performance dates are December 8,9, and 10 with a possible added show on the 7th in case of sell out. All shows include a dinner served at 7PM and show starting at 8:00PM, except Sunday with lunch being served at 2 PM and show starting at 3 PM.
If you have any questions regarding auditions, please contact: Judy Berrens at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Off Book Theater Company @ Mt. Washington UMC was founded to bring family friendly entertainment to the eastside of Cincinnati. All shows produced fall within the G to PG categories.