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Bonnie Kate to present the days when radio and jazz were kings

John Thompson • Updated Oct 11, 2017 at 9:21 PM

ELIZABETHTON — There was a time before television and PlayStation when radio was cutting-edge communication, with local studios producing popular programs.

Those glorious days of local radio broadcasting will be celebrated on Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Bonnie Kate Theater, 115 S. Sycamore St.

The theater will transport guests back 70 years to the broadcast studio of WELZ, Elizabethton. Guests will get to watch the production of a local program featuring the hottest band of the day, the Tri Cities Jazz Ensemble, led by Eddie Dalton.

Introducing the musical acts to the imaginary radio audience and the real audience in the Bonnie Kate will be the master of ceremonies, WELZ’s and WJHL's Josh Smith. He will also be reading commercials for such "sponsors" as Carter County Bank. The advertising scripts are an imaginative attempt to portray how these modern businesses would have advertised seven decades ago.

Guests won't be sitting in theater seats. They will sit at long tables decorated in 1940s style. The tables are there for a reason. This is a 1940s style dinner theater, complete with a 1940's-inspired meal catered by Nanny's Country Kitchen.

As a fundraiser for the restoration of the Bonnie Kate, there will also be a silent auction during the show.

The second hour of the program will feature a radio mystery — "The Omelet Murder Case" by Tim Kelly — presented with permission by Dramatists Publishing and featuring the cast of the Hopwood Players.

The show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets for the trip back to the 1940's are $40. Tickets are on sale at the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Building, the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce, Appalachian Printing and at the Bonnie Kate from 4-6 p.m.

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