When “The 1940s Radio Hour” premiered on Broadway in 1979, the era it affectionately lampooned was less than 40 years previous.
The nostalgia will be different now that the play is set three-quarters of a century in the past.
The nostalgic holiday comedy is next up for the Players Centre for Performing Arts in Sarasota.
It’s a fun show that had a limited run on Broadway. It’s kind of a jukebox musical, with a book by Walton Jones, who only had one other obscure show that made it to Broadway, a thriller called “Sleight of Hand,” and lots of music from the World War II years.
The music includes more than hit songs of the era. There are vintage jingles for Pepsi Cola and Chiquita bananas, along with such period hits as “I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
It’s set in December 1942 in New York City, where a radio show for the troops overseas is being recorded. The characters include a singer who likes to drink, a delivery boy who yearns for show biz stardom, the requisite air-headed waitress-turned-singer and a harried producer who has to keep the show in reasonable order while he deals with those people.
The Players Centre production features a 16-piece orchestra, comprising students from Pine View School, along with professional musicians to create that classic sound.
Details: Dec. 7-23, The Players Centre for Performing Arts, 838 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7-9, 12-15 and 20-23. 2 p.m. Dec 10 and 17, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16. $32. 941-365-2494, theplayers.org.