One takeaway from New Village Arts’ production of Walton Jones’ The 1940s Radio Hour; once you hear radio ensemble player Ginger Brooks’ (Marlene Montes) orgasmic commercial, you’ll never think of Eskimo Pies in the same way again.
Actually, the between-show commercials are the choice bits in NVA’s 90-minute representation of a New York City radio station’s holiday show, “recorded” in front of a studio audience, during the WWII era. A game cast sings and dances to a lot of period standards, and yes, there are the inevitable Christmas numbers, too. A pre-broadcast segment that sort of introduces the characters seems pointless. The show-within-a-show itself, with the very funny Daren Scott as the harried emcee, would be enough on its own. Besides Scott and the aforementioned Montes, The 1940s Radio Hour benefits from the crooning and hoofing of Zackary Scot Wolfe and an impossibly perky Danielle Levas. The always entertaining Tony Houck, on piano, is a jaunty one-man band.
David L. Coddon is theater critic for San Diego CityBeat