The High School Drama Club is working hard to prepare for the opening of Forty-Second Street on Thursday, March 9. The show, first produced on Broadway in 1981, depicts the glamour and excitement of Broadway and New York City, circa 1932. It tells the story of small town aspiring actress Peggy Sawyer (Megan Schwartz), who gets her first big break in the show Pretty Lady. The show’s producers, Maggie Jones (Siobhan Kiernan), Bert Barry (Elijah Wellington-Harper) and the director, Julian Marsh (Rory Flannery), are hoping for a hit but leading lady, Dorothy Brock (Emily Mahoney), gets injured and can’t go on. All of the other company characters, led by dancers Annie (Caeli Carroll), Phyllis (Lydia LaGorga), Lorraine (Janie Kempf), Diane (Betsy Chanatry) and Ethel (Clari Atherlay), with dance captain Andy Lee (Jonathan Benn) band together to convince Peggy that she is needed and can be successful taking Dorothy’s place. They desperately want to save the show so that they all have jobs. This fun and entertaining show is full of Broadway standards, including “You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me,” “Dames,” “We’re In the Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” and “Forty-Second Street.”
Choreographer Maureen Carroll, Music Director Teresa Campbell, Technical Director Thuc Phan and Pit Orchestra Director Mary Coburn, have spent the past three months preparing the cast and crew for a hit of their own. Due to the “show within a show” nature of the story, costuming for the production is elaborate. Mrs. N.J. Burr, has done a fine job working with Mrs. Carroll to provide appropriate costumes which accurately represent the 1932 post-depression era.
In addition to the student-built set pieces, this year’s production will have an extra special touch, provided by Cazenovia residents, David Lowenstein and Al Annotto (parents of cast member, Angelo Annotto). Mr. Lowenstein was a member of the national touring production of Forty-Second Street and has loaned some set pieces from his tour for use in Cazenovia’s show. There will be lit marquis and large “dimes” to enhance the production numbers. Mr. Lowenstein teaches at Cazenovia College and also teaches musical theatre at Syracuse University. He performs, directs and choreographs at numerous places in the Central New York area including the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival; Merry-Go-Round theatre in Auburn; and Syracuse Stage. Mr. Lowenstein spent time meeting with cast members, sharing the history of Forty-Second Street as well as stories from his professional experience. He also demonstrated the tap dancing steps that were performed in the Broadway production. The students were greatly enriched by this opportunity as it enabled them to gain insight into their various roles.
This year’s production promises to be an exciting and entertaining show and the cast, crew and pit orchestra are looking forward to sharing their efforts with the Cazenovia community. Performances will take place in the High School Auditorium at 4:00 pm on Thursday, March 9, and 7:00 pm Friday, March 10 and Saturday, March 11. Cazenovia Senior Citizens, age 62 and above are invited to attend the March 9 performance free of charge. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the door or in advance by visiting the Drama Club website at https://sites.google.com/a/caz.cnyric.org/cazenovia-hs-drama-club/order-tickets?pli=1 or calling 315-655-5309.