New Variety Radio Show Entertains

Photos by Trudell Phtographics

St. John’s Conservatory Theater (SJCT), now in their fifth season, opened their latest musical comedy The New Variety Radio Show based on the popular variety radio shows of the 1940s.

Their 2018 season commenced with The New Variety Radio Show, that ran April 5-8, at the OFA George Hall Auditorium, Ogdensburg, NY.

The Golden Age of Radio Revisited

A tribute to the golden age of radio, the musical was hosted by a comedian à la Jimmy Durante named Waldo Fern played by R. O’Donnell, and his sidekick Mr. Wilson played by Brandon Bogart. They’re were joined onstage by the St. Lawrence Darlings (think Mouseketeers), which performed sketches, song, and dance accompanied by The Oswegatchie Orchestra.

The St. Lawrence Darlings were played by Peyton Brown (Massena), Maddison Cameron (Heuvelton), Evelyn Davis (Ogdensburg), Jillian LeBel (Ogdensburg), Macy Murdock (Ogdensburg), Myah Myers (Ogdensburg), Gabriella Ott (Ogdensburg), Cadence Payne (Ogdensburg), Delia Payne (Ogdensburg), Gerard Powers (Ogdensburg), Logan Carr (Ogdensburg), Hailee Jackson (Heuvelton), Christopher Rodriguez (Ogdensburg), and Hailey Weber (Ogdensburg).

The New Variety Radio Show also featured Angela Conzone Dwyer (Ogdensburg) as Peggy Page, Stephen Chambers (Ogdensburg) as Ernie Rooster, Shelly Murdock (Ogdensburg) as Ella Starr, and Ryan C. McNally (Syracuse) as Max Windell and his wandering sax.

Boasting lavish production numbers of all the popular hits of the 20’s, 30’s, and 40s, The New Variety Radio Show was a toe-tapping, gut-busting, and tap-dancing extravaganza reminiscent of the famous radio variety shows of the 1940s.

An Original North Country Theater Company

An original North Country theater company, St. John’s Conservatory Theater offers the Ogdensburg community four seasonal (Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter) all-original musicals. SJCT productions are fully staged, costumed, and orchestrated, and include a book (story and dialogue), music and lyrics. Nowhere else in the North Country is there a professional regional theater company that produces all-original in-house musicals.

St. John’s Conservatory Theater principal creative staff includes Producing Artistic Director Mr. O’Donnell, Musical Director and Choreographer Angela Conzone Dwyer, Digital Orchestrator and Vocal Arranger Ryan C. McNally (Syracuse), Scenic and Prop Designer Stephen Chambers, Costume and Makeup Designer Karen Fischbeck (Heuvelton), Senior Costumer Heron Hetzler (Potsdam), Technical Director and Production Coordinator Christopher Dwyer, Sound Designer Richard Patton, Lighting Designer Barry Pratt (Watertown), Production Stage Manager Ashley Toppin (Gouverneur), and Props Master Tonya Ott. Collectively they have over five decades of professional theatrical and academic experience including regional, stock, bus and truck, off-off-Broadway, off-Broadway, and Broadway stages.

Just the facts

The New Variety Radio Show, April 5-8 at the OFA George Hall Auditorium in Ogdensburg, NY. Show times were Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 PM, with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 PM. Tickets cost $15 at the door (suggested donation), or $10 at

For more information, please visit St. John’s Conservatory Theater’s Facebook page at


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