Ford Center gets ‘In the Mood’ with music from ’30s, ’40s

Posted on Jan 23 2017 - 8:11am by Sarah Smith

Set in the sizzling 1930s and ’40s, “In the Mood, a 1940s Musical Revue” is a musical event that revisits the past in a cheery and uplifting manner. It has the sounds and beats of big band, bringing the jazz era to life. “In the Mood”  brings back to us the fun and energetic swing dancing movement.  

Who wouldn’t want to get up and dance with some Benny Goodman tunes playing? It’s those feel-good lines and vibes that really bring this show to life. However, it’s not only the music and dancing. It’s also the costumes and makeup that give such a candid portrayal of the era.

Whitney O’Neal, the performing arts technician at the Ford Center, who has past experience with costumes at Ole Miss theatre shop and makeup at Oxford Film Festival, explained further about matching historic trends.  

“What I love about period pieces is the effort that goes into making sure everything is historically accurate. It is a true imitation of history, like a living museum,” O’Neal said. “You can see the research and study that goes into creating the looks for all of the actors. It’s a testament to the talent of the costume designers.”

This era in particular was an important landmark in history. Not only did this period see the beginning of a second World War, but also the beginning of women in the workplace, prompting more risqué apparel for women and more uniform apparel for men.

“There was a lot of change happening in the 1940s,” O’Neal said. “You had women entering the workforce, and with that came changes in fashion, such as shorter hemlines and pants.”

This show highlights extreme transformations that took place during the 1930s and 1940s.

“It’s a great way to see a snapshot of the era come to life,” said Kate Meacham, marketing director at the Ford Center.

People were just beginning to see a turn from the Great Depression under President Franklin Roosevelt at this time, going from drab years then progressing into a happier time that would be short lived with the oncoming war.

“I expect it to be uplifting with some nostalgia and a recognition of the impact of war on families and the country, but overall, it will be a fun evening with great music and dancing,” Meacham said.

Throughout the play, watchers are introduced to the 1930s as the happy-go-lucky era before World War II. This musical celebrates our men and women fighting for the country, both currently and in the past. Julia Aubrey, Ford Center director, said this show has particular importance to military families.

“A show that celebrates our women and men in uniform is appreciated by our audiences and the individuals that are being honored. This is the music of America!” Aubrey said.

This is expected to be a fun and exciting night revolving around classic, timeless music. 

“There is also a surprise tune at the end for University of Mississippi fans,” Aubrey said.

“In the Mood, a 1940s Musical Revue” will show at the Ford Center Tuesday night at 7:30. Tickets are available at the UM Box Office or on the Ford Center website.