LINWOOD— Toes will be tapping across the stage at Mainland Regional High School where the musical “42nd Street” comes to life Thursday, March 14 through Sunday, March 17.
The circa 1980 Broadway show is filled with big dance numbers and familiar songs like “Dames” and “We’re in the Money.” It is a musical about creating a musical. “42nd Street” is set in 1933 as Broadway director Julian Marsh works to bring a successful musical extravaganza to the stage in the middle of the Great Depression.
The role of Marsh is shared by Sacha Rovins and Jared Pisetzner. All of the main roles in “42nd Street” are double cast to give as many students as possible the chance to be in the spotlight.
Veteran Mainland director Becky Sannino said she chose “42nd Street” because of the talent of the students. “We have kids this year with a lot of talent; they can act, they can sing and they can dance and “42nd Sreet” is perfect for all that talent,” said Sannino. She added that the musical is just fun and the kids are having a good time with it. Along with Sannino directing, Derek Rohaly is conducting the pit orchestra and Clare Egar is the choreographer.
“42nd Street” has remained popular since the shows Broadway debut in 1980 when it won the Tony for the best musical. It returned in 2001 to win another Tony for best revival. Written by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble with lyrics by Al Dubin and Johnny Mercer, “42nd Street” is based on a novel by Bradford Ropes and a 1933 film. The show includes strong female characters Peggy Sawyer (a part shared by Megan Castellane and Emerson Fisher) the new girl that gets her big chance to be part of the show, much to chagrin of the show’s star Dorothy Brock (a part shared by Sydney Freihofer and Victoria Mozitis).
The cast and crew were hard at work recently prepping for the upcoming opening night. It was the first dress rehearsal with the pit orchestra. They worked through their scenes and worked diligently to hit their marks and mesh with the music. The 14-member pit orchestra features a number of the area’s music educators and seasoned performers along with current Mainland musicians Courtney Wolf, on the flute and piccolo, Argha Paul, on the clarinet, Blaine Geubtner, on the horn, Wil Keiter, on the tenor sax, and Scott Cogan on the trumpet.
Not all the work was happening on stage; behind the scenes was just as busy. Sophomore Grace Mozitis, herself a stage veteran, chose to do make-up for the “42nd Street” cast due to her busy schedule outside of school. “I am really enjoying doing the make-up,” said Grace Mozitis. “It is really eye opening for me to see the other side of what it takes to bring everything together. It is good experience, notably what goes into it and how smoothly everything needs to run. I think it helps that I have been in their shoes.”
The main roles are double cast and include: Peggy Sawyer, played by Megan Castellane and Emerson Fischer; Dorothy Brock, played by Sydney Freihofer and Victoria Mozitis; Maggie Jones, played by Sophie Barton and Rachel Lischin; Ann Reilly, played by Charity Zappone and Marlisa Bongiovanni; Lorraine Fleming, played by Farah Hazaveh and Helene Tjoumarkis; Phyllis Dale, shared by Kendall DeMorat and Tati Waxman; Gladys, played by Anna Geubtner and Ella Osbeck; Ethel, played by Cici Bushay and Emily Hughes; Maxie, played by Chloe DeGaetano; Diane Lorimer, played by Luisa Rivera; Millie, played by Jessica Clouser; and Wilhelmina, played by Sarah Pace.
“42nd Street" has strong roles for the boys. Showman Julian Marsh is a role shared by Sacha Rovins and Jared Pisetzner; Bert Barry is played by Adam Nguyen and Michael Leiderman. The character Billy Lawlor is shared by Josh Darragh and Matthew Lischin. Pat Denning is played by Hunter Rich and Xander Matik. Andy Lee is played by Josh Knorr and Abner Dillon is played by John Alice. Frankie is played by Cristian Della Fave. Oscar is played by Daniel Pisetzner and Dr. Blake is played by Aidan Pells.
The curtain goes up on “42nd Street” Thursday, March 14, 15, 16 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12. For tickets and more information visit MRHStheater.net or call 609-904-2013.