ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — When writer Carolyn Hogan was growing up, she enjoyed the cascade of jokes and Big Band music regularly broadcast on Bob Hope’s televised USO shows.
Hogan will revive those memories and salute the military next weekend with a cast of 13 at the Adobe Theater.
The two-hour show opens with a pair of ex-GIs reminiscing as they leaf through a scrapbook from their 1941-45 service. They discuss the price of housing, sports teams and the development of the canine corps of the era. Then they move to the USO shows that entertained them overseas.
“All of a sudden, the flashback of the show starts,” Hogan said.
Cue to the songs of the era, including “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “The White Cliffs of Dover,” “Embraceable You,” “Puttin’ On the Ritz,” “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree,” “Accentuate the Positive” and more, as well as a musical military salute.
“We end with ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas,’ which had us all crying during rehearsal,” Hogan said.
“I’m a military daughter, wife and mom and I just love the military,” she said. “We use a lot of the jokes from the time period.”
The comedy includes the famous Abbott and Costello skit “Who’s On First?”
The fictional character Les Wright stands in for Hope, she added.
“I was so impressed, and I wanted to be one of the USO entertainers,” she added.
Veterans are encouraged to wear their uniforms (assuming they still fit) so that the cast can salute their service.