This Christmas season, The Legacy Theatre invites you to step back in time as “The Andrews Sisters: Christmas of Swing” returns to the stage in Tyrone this week. More than just a musical review of 1940s swing music, this family-friendly show is a hilarious, endearing,and at times poignant homage to America’s greatest generation. The show takes place on Christmas Eve, 1944, in a New York City rehearsal hall. As the war rages on, and with the Allied forces still several months away from a victory in Europe, Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne Andrews come together for one final rehearsal of their famed USO concert.
The Andrews Sisters were America’s sweethearts during World War II, and their fame and influence on the radio as well as on the front lines has often been overshadowed by other entertainers of the day. The Andrews Sisters are the best-selling female vocal group in the history of popular music and had 113 Billboard hits. Forty-six of these songs reached “Top 10” status, more than the Beatles or Elvis Presley.
The sisters also starred in 17 Hollywood films, as well as record-breaking theatrical and radio appearances. The task of filling the shoes of the Andrews is not an easy one. However, the Legacy did not need to look further than one county over as real-life sisters, Courtney, Haley, and Jordan Godwin from Henry County have taken on the difficult task. The girls are not new to the Legacy stage and patrons may remember the girls from its productions of High School Musical 1 & 2 as well as Peter Pan (Haley and Jordan) and The Marvelous Wonderettes (Courtney).
All three sisters signed on to do the show for a second time without any hesitation. Middle sister Haley, who plays Maxene, said that the Godwin sisters “have always loved performing, and we have been performing together since we were little. It’s great going into a show knowing you love every cast member in it. The chemistry is always just right, and we keep each other laughing during rehearsals.” Knowing they had to portray real-life characters meant the girls had to do quite a bit of research to stay true to their actual counterparts. Jordan, the youngest of the Godwin sisters who plays LaVerne, stated that “ I learned that the real Andrews Sisters were pretty dramatic, to say the least. I mean you’ve got the youngest sister singing all the solos; that clearly has to be a source of family drama. On a brighter note, I learned that none of the sisters could sight read! So all of their insane harmonies were done only by ear, which explains why it was so hard to sight-read when we were trying to learn it!” The girls have had to learn music and choreography to over 30 well-know Andrews Sisters hits, including the Andrews’ chart-topping hit, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”-a show stopping number in the production as the girls magically dance with the real-life Andrews Sisters. The girls are not worried about the amount of material and are excited for audiences to see the show.
“Trust me,” said Haley “we’ve been running these numbers for weeks and it is worth every penny! It’s a fun show with some grit, since it takes place during World War II. But it’s a wonderful tribute to veterans, and a family show for sure. And the fact that we are actual sisters just adds to its charm!” Joining the girls are Legacy favorites Jeremiah Hobbs (Sonny in “Xanadu”) and Nathan Lubeck (The Leopard in “Tarzan”).
Hobbs and Lubeck play several real-life characters between the two of them, including Bing Crosby, Abbott and Costello, and Eleanor Roosevelt! The show also boasts a live band and letters from World War II soldiers accompanied by images and video from the era. Make plans with your entire family and see why this show is the Legacy’s bestselling show of all time!
“Christmas of Swing!” opens November 22 , and runs for four weekends. Shows are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and students, and $15 for children 12 and under. You can order tickets by calling the box office at 404-895-1473 or by going on their website at www.thelegacytheatre.org.