Kids’ TV hosts say the darndest things… and 1960s’ TV icon Sonny Fox will offer up plenty of wit and nostalgia when he brings his Wonderama revival to Hamilton Stage for the Performing Arts on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 2 p.m., 360 Hamilton St., Rahway.
An Afternoon with Sonny Fox features the popular kids’-show television host signing copies of his new memoir, “But You Made the Front Page: War, Wonderama and a Whole Bunch of Life,” as well as recreating many magic moments from the show.
From 1959-1967, the hottest ticket in New York was not to a Broadway show or a Yankee or Giant game. It was to get your kid on Sonny Fox's Wonderama show broadcast live on Channel 5. Demand for tickets was so high and the wait so long, expectant mothers were known to put in ticket requests in hopes they could secure a seat for their unborn child.
As comedian Whoopi Goldberg recalled, “On Sunday, I had to do two things: go to church and watch Sonny Fox.” American Theater Group, a New Jersey drama company in residence at Hamilton Stage, is organizing the event. Tickets are $40 and available online at hucpac.org, by calling 732-499-8226, or visiting the Union County Performing Arts Center box office, 1601 Irving St., Rahway.
“For kids of my generation, watching Sonny Fox was a fundamental part of growing up,” said Jim Vagias, American Theater Group’s co-producing artistic director. “We are thrilled he is visiting Rahway to allow us ‘Baby Boomers’ to experience this wonderful part of our childhood again." Fox’s unrivaled stature among the young New York metro audience enabled him to attract special guests from all walks of life, including Senator Robert Kennedy, the young cast of “The Sound of Music” film, and the designer of James Bond’s Aston Martin from the then newly released film Goldfinger.
In addition, the show regularly featured art lessons, magic performances by The Amazing Randi, riddles, Mad Libs and the favorite, Simon Sez. On Dec. 1 at Hamilton Stage, Fox will reminisce about the early days of live television and share choice Wonderama film highlights.
Audience members will get a chance to recreate some of the program’s favorite segments including stumping Sonny with riddles, playing Mad Libs and competing in Simon Sez.
“Hamilton Stage was created to showcase a wide range of eclectic entertainment appealing to a broad cross section of the community,” said Union County Performing Arts Center Executive Director L.E. McCullough. “An Afternoon with Sonny Fox is yet another exciting program devised by American Theater Group.”
For more information about American Theater Group, visit americantheatergroup.com.
For more information about the 2013-14 performance season at UCPAC’s Hamilton Stage, visit hamiltonstagenj.com.