Though we may sincerely hope not, Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” may one day serve as the finale of a revue of wartime music and stories along the lines of the American Century Theater’s tribute to Dubya Dubya Two, If Only in My Dreams. The nostalgia that propels the production is based not only on the extensive sampling of music of the era, but also the lost “rightness” of that war. Recordings of Winston Churchill announcing that the deadline for German withdrawal from Poland had passed and, therefore, England was at war, and a snippet of Roosevelt’s “date which will live in infamy” speech remind us that this global war was more straightforward than modern localized conflicts. Revue compilers Jack Marshall and Tom Fuller use a string of actual correspondence from servicemen, their families, and regular folk on the home front to link the pearls of two dozen or so songs. From the opening, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” to the finale, “When the Lights Go On Again,” eight cast members ably cycle through fear and hope as they show us the war from the perspective of soldiers, mothers, and the Andrews Sisters. There are a lot of songs you would expect (“White Christmas,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”), plus some you might not (Johnny Mercer’s sweet-sad “Skylark” and goofy “AC-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive,” “Blue Christmas,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”). There are also some obscure gems (“Captains of the Clouds” and—I’m pretty sure about this—”Strip Polka”). The stage is broken into three areas—a kit bag hanging from a post where soldiers receive their mail, a platform and microphone for the entertainers, and the home, dominated by a table radio and brightly lit Christmas tree. Designed by Marc A. Wright, it serves ably as the setting for director-choreographer Jacqueline Manger’s lively musical numbers, accompanied onstage by Alvin Ellsworth Hough Jr. on piano and bassist David Burelli. It is the quiet, still moments, though, that tug at the heart. David Ruffin, a standout singer, reads a letter as 26-year-old airman George Rarey, stationed in England, congratulating his wife on the birth of their son. He expresses the sentiment of many of the pieces in the show, telling her that he is fighting so “that there will be no war for Damon.” It is then announced that Rarey’s plane was shot down over Germany a few days later. In a holiday season when many families will again be missing their children who’ve gone to war, there are worse ways to spend the time than to wallow in reminiscence of a war safely won long ago. You are likely to leave If Only in My Dreams singing and hoping fervently that next year, “all our troubles will be out of sight.” —Janet Hopf