LOWER MAKEFIELD >> The Pennwood Middle School is bringing the tap-dancing musical spectacular, “42nd Street” to the stage for three performances only on March 13 at 7 p.m. and March 14 at 2 and 7 p.m.
Directed by Matthew Snyder, a Spanish teacher in the World Languages Department at Pennsbury High School, the show will feature a cast of 63 performers and 27 student crew members.
While "42nd Street" is a challenge to direct -- both for acting and choreography -- Snyder said it’s "important for the students to get to know the classics," like this show. There are 15 featured "tappers" in Pennwood's production of "42nd Street."
This will be Snyder’s second musical theater production at Pennwood, having directed "Aladdin, Jr." last year. He spends his off-hours performing in regional theater, primarily at the Broadway Theatre of Pitman, NJ.
The musical “42nd Street” is set in 1933 New York where renowned director Julian Marsh is directing a show called, “Pretty Lady.” Written by Maggie Jones and Bert Barry, “Pretty Lady” promises to be the biggest show Broadway has seen in years.
Julian expresses his concern that Dorothy Brock, the leading lady, will not be able to handle the role due to her age and known inability to dance. It turns out, however, that Dorothy's sugar daddy, Abner Dillon, is financially backing the show and Julian must use Dorothy.
The production of “Pretty Lady” loses its booking in Atlantic City, but they are able to open in Philadelphia instead. The show opens and everything goes well until, in the closing number, newcomer Peggy Sawyer is pushed into Dorothy Brock who consequently breaks her ankle. Julian fires Peggy on the spot and announces that with no star, the show has to close.
The cast rallies together to convince Julian that he made a mistake in firing Peggy and he should take Dorothy's place as the lead. Julian catches Peggy at the train station and convinces her to take Dorothy's role, although she will have to learn the role in 36 hours and open cold in New York.
“Pretty Lady” opens in New York with Peggy in the lead and is a smash hit, guaranteeing the cast a job for the next two years!
Starring in the Pennwood production are: Hope Massey as Dorothy Brock, Nick Torres as Julian Marsh, Ryan Leventhal as Peggy Sawyer, Juliet Labrecque as Maggie Jones, Evan Deutsch as Abner Dillon, Evan Capozzola as Billy Lawlor, Ryan Genevie as Pat Denning, Kyle Stretch as Andy Lee, Maya Rossi as Winnie, Taylor Lewis as Lorraine, Caitlyn Lewis as Phyllis, Arden Perkins as Gladys and Neha Basil as Annie.
Tickets can be purchased in advance of the show from March 9 to 11 between 6:30 and 8 p.m. at the Pennwood Middle School. Tickets will also be sold at the door prior to each performance. All tickets are $10.