LA CROSSE, Wis. – The Viterbo University Conservatory for the Performing Arts will present the musical The Hello Girls Friday, March 31–Sunday, April 2 in the Fine Arts Center LaCroix Black Box Theatre.
From New York to Paris, from ragtime to jazz: The Hello Girls is a new musical inspired by history that follows the story of 223 women sent to France in 1918 by the U.S. Army Signal Corps to serve as bilingual telephone operators. By the end of World War I, they had connected over 26 million calls and were recognized by U.S. General John Pershing for their service. They then returned home to fight a decades-long battle for equality and recognition, paving the way for future generations. Their story has also been shared in a book and documentary film of the same name.
“The Hello Girls is a really inspiring story of feminists doing what they can to serve their country,” said Viterbo faculty member Brittany Bara, who is directing the production. “It has lots of excellent singing and really fun dance numbers.”
The LaCroix Black Box Theatre provides a unique and intimate venue for a musical, Bara explained.
“In this ensemble-driven piece, 10 very talented performers tell this epic tale of World War I,” Bara said. “The cast members have all brought great energy to the rehearsals.”
Bara is joined by fellow faculty member Janette Hanson, who is serving as the music director. Sam Morris, Viterbo director of military student success and veteran, is the military consultant. The Hello Girls stars Viterbo’s Jillian Kohl as unit Chief of Operations Grace Banker. The rest of the cast includes students Gabby Moten, Adelaide Young, Lindsey Meath, Emma Phillips, Robby Alston, Jake Aune, Spencer Curtis, Gabe Karr, and Brandon Rundquist. A nine-piece orchestra will provide the music.
This production is sponsored by Gundersen Health System. Music and lyrics are by Peter Mills. Book is Peter Mills and Cara Reichel. The Hello Girls is presented through special arrangement with, and all authorized performance materials are supplied by, Theatrical Rights Worldwide 1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640, New York, NY 10036. www.theatricalrights.com.
Performance times are 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 31, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 1, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 2.
Tickets are $16 for general admission seating, plus taxes and fees. For more information or to order tickets, contact the Viterbo box office at 608-796-3100 or visit www.viterbo.edu/tickets.