This weekend’s performance of The Andrews Brothers at the Holland Theatre takes “the show must go on” to a new level, and offers audiences an evening of nonstop, madcap fun.
The Windmill Productions performance all takes place on a small island in the South Pacific during World War II. A USO show is in danger of cancellation when one of the Andrews Sisters comes down with chicken pox, forcing them all into quarantine.
Pinup girl Peggy Jones isn’t ready to give up and convinces three stagehands to fill in. The three brothers—all denied the opportunity to fight for their country due to health issues—jump at the chance to participate … with hilarious results.
What follows is a performance filled with 30 of the most famous songs from that era, including showstoppers like “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive.”
“The Windmill board agrees this is the hardest music we’ve ever done,” Chris Tillman, assistant director, said. “It’s such tight harmonies based on the work of the USO touring group.”
Performing in The Andrews Brothers are: Charity Lowe as Peggy Jones; Matt Baird as Patrick (Patty) Andrews; Ian Fullerton as Max (Maxine) Andrews; and Beau Young as Lawrence (Laverne) Andrews.
Tillman said this type of show is similar to the Wonderettes and Route 66 performances they’ve done in the past. Because it’s so music-focused, she credits musical director Michael Suman with doing two-thirds of the work. She also emphasized the impressive contributions from choreographer Suzanne Dennis.
“It’s not just movement during the songs, but how you move onstage in slapstick comedy that adds so much,” Tillman said.
The show is directed by Kris Swisher. Nancy Magnuson did the set with help from Krista Harmon. A small group of eight musicians perform in the live orchestra.
Performances are 7:30 tonight, and Sunday, Oct. 9, at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online but will also be available at the door.