FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Broadcast News! Full All-Star New Orleans Cast Returns for National WWII Museum's Stage Door Canteen Musical - On the Air
March 1, 2012 (New Orleans, LA) - Don't touch that dial. The Stage Door Canteen at The National WWII Museum is giving audiences a front row seat to radio's golden age with a return engagement of its award-nominated sweet and swing-y musical On the Air, beginning March 9, 2012. On the Air, which premiered last year, is nominated for three Big Easy Theater Awards including Best Musical 2011, Best Original Work of Theatre 2011 (Victoria Reed and Sean Patterson, authors) and Best Supporting Actor in a Musical 2011 - Gary Rucker.
Written by the Canteen's Director of Entertainment, Victoria Reed, and award-winning actor, writer and director, Sean Patterson, On The Air is a rollicking rendition of a live radio broadcast on Mother's Day, 1945, created especially for the venue. The cast of five includes a singing W.A.C., a boisterous bandleader, and a fiery torch singer who can belt the blues. The live band brings the forties to life with a timeless musical score, comedy and more! It's a trip back in time and guests will love coming along for the ride as the live studio audience at the imagined New Orleans radio station, WSDC.
Among the timeless songs featured in the show are The Trolley Song, Don't Fence Me In, Blues in the Night, Mairzy Doats and Chattanooga Choo-Choo. The cast includes -
Troi Bechet (Melba Tompkins) New Orleans native, actor and song stylist Troi Bechet has graced stages both locally and nationally to include, The Proprietress in Steve Yockey's Afterlife, Effie in Ain't Misbehavin, Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, Lady Macbeth in Voodoo Macbeth, French Fries in Talking With and Fanny in Flyin' West. She was most recently seen on stage in A Long Way Off, written by local playwright Jim Fitzmorris. As a vocalist, Troi has opened for internationally renowned recording artists Stevie Wonder and Boney James. She has shared the stage with many other notable performers such as Germaine Bazzle, Charmaine Neville, Kermit Ruffins, and "Trombone Shorty" Andrews.
Idella Johnson (Dorothy Tompkins) is certainly no stranger to the local theatre scene, having starred in award-winning productions Aida, Rent, the critically acclaimed Where the Girls Were and Purlie (for which she won the 2007 Big Easy Award for Best Actress in a Musical). She has performed in numerous theatrical productions in New Orleans and in New York City. Credits include The Women of Brewster Place, Dreamgirls, Company, The Sunshine Boys, Circle of Friends - An American Girl Musical, The Wiz, Eubie and For Colored Girls. Film and television credits include The Haunting in Georgia, Transpose, and HBO's Treme. She studied Music and Theater at Delgado Community College and Jazz Studies and Voice at SUNY Purchase in New York.
Courtney Boe (Betty Lou Fairchild) recently moved to New Orleans from La Place, Louisiana. She is currently studying History at the University of New Orleans. Courtney is humbled to have originated the role of Betty Lou in On The Air and is delighted to bring the character to life once again. No stranger to the Stage Door Canteen, she is a member of the Victory Belles and performs with the trio every Wednesday in their current show, Lullaby of Broadway. Courtney has performed at Walt Disney World and has studied dance at NOCCA and The Metropolitan Dance Studio, under the direction of Karen Hebert. She has also performed on many local stages in the New Orleans metropolitan area. Her favorite credits include Babette / Belle Swing, Disney's Beauty and The Beast, Wendy in Peter Pan, Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls and Lucy in Jekyll and Hyde.
Gary Rucker (Buddy Bordelon) received his MFA in Acting from The University of New Orleans where he was a member of the Resident Acting Company. He is thrilled to return to On the Air as "Buddy," the role he originated last season. He is a co-founder of Theatre 13, which recently produced The Divine Sister at the Mid City Theater, the critically acclaimed Spring Awakening at Southern Repertory Theater, and co-produced The Drowsy Chaperone with the Jefferson Performing Arts Society last October. Gary will return for his 13th season with The Patchwork Players this summer at Tulane University, where he serves as a Professor of Practice for Tulane University's Department of Theatre and Dance.
Bob Edes Jr. (Frank Dane) One of the busiest actors in the New Orleans area, with numerous awards to his credit, Bob was GambitWeekly's Theater Person of the Year for 2010. Recent productions include The Drowsy Chaperone for Tulane Summer Lyric, Red at Southern Repertory Theater, Grenadine McGunkle's Double Wide Christmas with the Running With Scissors troupe & his own creation, New Orleans Down the Hatch: A Cabaret in 2 Cocktails, in which he tours with Elizabeth Pearce & Jim Walpole. Television credits include HBO's Treme, TNT's Hide, USA's Common Law, along with film roles in Love, Wedding, Marriage and Varla Jean & the Mushroom Heads.
Last year, many performances were sell-outs, so reserve tickets now for On the Air at www.stagedoorcanteen.org. Performances include Friday and Saturday evenings with a dinner option by the American Sector, a Chef John Besh restaurant, and Sunday brunch matinees. On the Air runs through May 27, 2012. Call 504-529-1943 for more information.
The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world - why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America's National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who served on the battlefront and the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit www.nationalww2museum.org. Follow us on Twitter at WWIImuseum or visit our Facebook page.
Funding for On the Air is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.