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The Dress Circle: Musicals for Memorial Day

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The Arts responded to the various wars, “conflicts,” and “police actions” in a variety of ways, and we decided to look at some of the ways Broadway saw the various experiences of soldiers and civilians during these times on this week’s Dress Circle (5/29 7:00 p.m.) as we celebrate Memorial Day.

Our playlist centers on four main works. The first two by Irving Berlin were his “all soldier” fundraising shows “Yip, Yip, Yaphank” from World War I, and “This Is the Army” from World War II, and we’ll be featuring a performance from the man himself. We’ll hear a song from “Winged Victory,” a play by Moss Hart that focused on the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II, and the musical that has been said to be the final entry to the World War II canon on Broadway, “Call Me Mister” by Harold Rome, which looks at the trials of soldiers returning to civilian life and some of the effects being stationed around the world had on soldiers and their families.

We’ve also decided to include a nostalgic look at the 1940s in America and the effects the war was having at home in the musical “Over Here” which had a book by Will Holt and music and lyrics by the Sherman brothers of Disney fame. The show starred the two surviving Andrews Sisters, Patty and Maxine, and featured some pretty special supporting players in Ann Reinking, Marilu Henner, John Travolta, Treat Williams, and Samuel E. Wright.

If time permits, we’ve also planned on adding other songs that relate to various aspects of military life.

Take a break from your hotdogs and potato salad and have a sit with us for some interesting music about times we should never forget.

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Ted Otten is co-host of The Dress Circle
Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.
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