Just in time for the Christmas season, The Legacy Theatre of Tyrone presents The Andrews Sisters: Christmas of Swing by Bob Beverage. Filled with familiar music, the show provides a nostalgic way to begin the holidays.
The Andrews Sisters, a popular vocal group of the ‘40s and ‘50s, performed swing and Boogie-Woogie music and starred in several popular films. The sisters often appeared with other popular performers, including Bing Crosby, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. During World War II, the group entertained troops around the world, performing in USO shows.
The show takes place during a rehearsal for one of their Christmas USO shows in 1944 and is more like a revue than a traditional musical. Held together by sparse dialogue and a simple plot, the sisters rehearse their act along with special guests, such as Crosby, Abbott and Costello. In addition to using actual songs sung by the group, the show includes real letters from soldiers to their loved ones during the war, which the sisters incorporate into their act.
In the production, the real-life Godwin sisters play the Andrews sisters: Courtney Godwin portrays Patty, Haley Godwin portrays Maxene and Jordan Godwin portrays LaVerne. Their embodiment of the famous trio is genuine, and they effortlessly recreate the tight vocal harmonies of the Andrews sisters. With each number, the Godwin sisters’ ease of performing with one another shines through, and their chemistry with one another is magical. They especially charm the audience with classic tunes such as “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “I’ve Got A Guy in Kalamazoo.”
In addition to their singing, the Godwins astonish with their dancing throughout the show, especially during a tap dancing number, beautifully choreographed by Bethany Smith. Staged with footage of the real Andrews sisters performing in the background, the final number of the show has the Godwin sisters matching the Andrews sisters step-for-step, which creates a truly impressive sight to behold.
The sisters are joined on stage by a three-person band and also by Jeremy Varner and Director Mark Smith, who are terrific in a variety of roles. Most notably, Smith performs in several numbers as Bing Crosby, while Varner appears as Danny Kaye and Lou Levy. The two actors also portray the famous comedic duo, Abbott and Costello and flawlessly deliver a clever exchange about Christmas trees.
Ultimately, the show is sure to warm the hearts of all those who are able to see it. It’s hard not to get emotional listening to clip’s of the soldiers’ hopeful letters interspersed between arrangements of Christmas favorites like “Away in the Manager” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” elegantly sung by the Courtney, Haley and Jordan Godwin. With The Andrews Sisters: Christmas of Swing, The Legacy Theatre offers a tribute to our country’s history and a celebration of the hope and joy that the Christmas season brings.
The Andrews Sisters: Christmas of Swing runs through December 18 and has approximate running time of two hours with one intermission. For show times, tickets and more information please visit The Legacy Theatre’s website.
– A. Wesley