Blueprint Specials: A Dusty Relic
Humanity can't seem to keep its historical ducks in a row. There are gaps in our history books, holes in our parchment, and collapsed villages that only whisper the songs they once bellowed. Archaeologists and historians continue their hard work in excavating the past, but every footprint that appears in the dust begets ten more in its path. With Waterwell's Blueprint Specials, a missing gem from the days of World War II is brought back into the sunlight.
When the United States entered the WWII after the attack on Pearl Harbor, soldiers were sent across the nation and the planet in order to defend their country. Amidst the fighting and incalculable loss, military personnel had to maintain their morale. Frank Loesser (who would go on to pen Guys and Dolls) and Arnold Auerbach concocted "blueprints" of a production for soldiers to perform for one another, hence the title of Tom Ridgely's adaptation at Under the Radar. The blueprints contained the script, sheet music, and choreography for the shows to be performed both by and for the troops. These morale boosters were never seen by the civilian public until Waterwell's revival staged aboard the Intrepid, a once-active aircraft carrier.
The jokes were cornier than Nebraska, and the politics were most certainly dated thanks to some antiquated perspectives on gender and race. With jazz hands and ready smiles, it seems like a Golden Age musical in a take-home container. To see these lost bits of theatrical history filled a gap in our textbooks with a bit of culture.