42nd Street

by

42nd Street had 4 performances about 7 years ago (between the 24th of November 2011 and the 26th of November 2011)

This is the musical production we have chosen for our November 2011 slot at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking.

“42nd Street” is a well-known, good old-fashioned musical with some very familiar tunes, the plot of which is detailed below to help you get an idea of how the characters fit in. Suffice to say it involves the usually love interests with twists and turns along the way, with putting on a Broadway show at the heart of it! The musical is usually performed with lots of elaborate scenery with the scene locations being recreated literally. Chris and I intend to try and give the production a little twist by trying to modernise the musical style a little, by having a generic set, and by choreographing scene changes to be undertaken by the dancers. So perhaps a old fashioned musical with a modern twist.

The show opens in New York 1933 with auditions underway for top director Julian Marsh’s latest show “Pretty Lady”. Peggy Sawyer arrives from Allentown hoping to audition, but misses out because she has been outside summoning up the courage to come in. Her quirkiness catches the eye of Billy Lawlor, juvenile lead, who agrees to try and get choreographer Andy Lee to audition Peggy anyway, but to no avail. Julian hires the chorus line and discusses his concerns with Maggie Jones and Bert Barry, the writers, about the casting of Dorothy Brock as the leading lady. Dorothy is a prima donna who is past her prime and she is very demanding. It transpires that she has only been cast because of her relationship with wealthy beau Abner Dillion who is financing the show. Despite this knowledge Julian exerts his directorial rights and insists that Dorothy tries out one of the songs, much to her indignation and Abder’s. Meanwhile Maggie and some of the chorus girls (Anytime Annie, Phyllis and Lorraine) have found Peggy. They take pity on her and ask her to join them for lunch and some career advice. They encourage her to show them a dance routine where they discover that she is actually a real talent. This routine is witnessed, by chance, by Julian who decides there might be room for one more chorus girl after all. Later during rehearsal Peggy faints and is put in Dorothy’s dressing room by a concerned Billy to recover. Hiding in the dressing room is Dorothy’s real lover Pat Denning. When Dorothy arrives she finds Pat comforting Peggy and gets very annoyed, the commotion draws the attention of Julian who realises that Dorothy and Pat’s relationship could put his show in jeopardy, especially if Abder finds out. As the cast set off to open in Philadelphia Julian hires some thugs to convince Pat to break up with Dorothy. Opening night arrives and Peggy trips and accidentally crashes into Dorothy, knocking her over and the show has to close. Julian is furious and fires Peggy on the spot.

As Act 2 begins we discover that Dorothy’s ankle is broken, and the show may have to close permanently. Annie is certain that Peggy could fill the lead role, finds Julian and tell him that Peggy can sing and dance circles around Brock. Julian decides it is worth a shot and rushes off to the train station to catch her and apologise before she departs back home. Peggy is disheartened and takes some persuading but eventually she agrees. Back at the theatre she is forced to learn the part in two days and is on the verge of a nervous breakdown when she has an unexpected visit from Dorothy. Dorothy has been watching the rehearsals and realises now that she is getting old and it is time to let the youngsters to take over. She has also realised that Peggy herself is really good and so she offers a little friendly advice on how to perform the last song. Julian has been pushing Peggy really hard and through his gruff exterior we see he is falling for her; this is sealed when he has to help her with the kissing scene! The show, with Peggy as lead, opens and we see a comedy number involving Bert, Annie and the dancers as well as the 42nd Street ballet. As you will have guessed the show goes on to be a resounding success catapulting Peggy to stardom. The cast decide to throw a house party in her honour with everyone chipping in and Billy is excited to take her, as he too is in love with her. However, the writers are also throwing a party in her honour at the Ritz. Peggy decides she would rather be with her friends and tells Julian this, leaving him to reflect on what a girl she is.

Descriptions of the characters are under 'Cast' below.

Application pdf

Download flyer

Click here to download a copy of the flyer for this production.

Person small1

Peggy Sawyer - Susie Kimnell

(Soprano) Young, talented and humble chorus girl who comes to New York from Allentown dreaming of being in a Broadway Musical. At the beginning of the show we must see Peggy is nervous and quirky but eager and keen. As the show evolves we see Peggy’s talent shine through and her inner steel and strength of character to remain true to herself stand out. This actress must be believable as an all-round Broadway star; acting, singing and dancing essential and she should also be able to tap. (We can cover the fact she is meant to be the best tapper so don’t let that worry you) Songs: Young and Healthy, Go into your Dance, We’re in the Money, About a Quarter to Nine, Forty-Second Street.

Small1

Julian Marsh - Adam Roberts

(Baritone) A tough, frazzled and tyrannical director. Julian is gruff but as the show progresses you see how Peggy’s charm touches him. He obviously doesn’t show emotion easily and keeps his thoughts and feelings close to his chest. Definitely feels the responsibility of ensuring “Pretty Lady” goes on and allows the cast to keep their jobs. This is a strong acting role, also required to sing and the role underpins the whole show. Older than Peggy although must be believable in the kissing scene (Aged 30-50) Songs: Getting out of Town, Lullaby of Broadway, 42nd Street.

Person small1

Dorothy Brock - Tari More

(Alto) temperamental and glamorous leading lady. A prima donna who is really past her prime. Must be obviously older than Peggy and show the transition from being hateful and vengeful towards her but softening over time. You always see this softer side with her obvious love for Pat but contrast this to her “using” of Abder to get exactly what she wants. This actress must be able to move as she appears in the Chorus numbers as leading lady. Songs: Shadow Waltz, You’re getting to be a Habit with Me, I know Now, 42nd Street, About a Quarter to Nine.

Small1

Billy Lawler - Nick Lund

(Tenor) Young, leading man. Billy is cheeky and charming with an eye for the ladies. This actor must be able to move well as he is meant to be a good dancer and singer (again don’t let the dancing worry you - we can cover this) Songs: Young and Healthy, Dames, I Know Now, We’re in the Money, Lullaby of Broadway.

Person small1

Maggie Jones - Faith Powell

(Alto) Maggie is co-writer of “Pretty Lady” with Bert and they make a great comic pair. She is fun, enthusiastic and has a good relationship with the dancing girls. This actress is an older lady and it would be helpful if she could tap, a little (not essential) but needs to be a singer. Songs: Shadow Waltz, Go Into your Dance, Getting out of Town, Lullaby of Broadway, Shuffle off to Buffalo

Person small1

Ann Reilly (Anytime Annie) - Jess Mann

(Alto) Feisty chorus girl, second female lead to Peggy who makes good friends with her. Has a lovely comedy duet with Bert (older man) as well as other solo verses. Also appears in chorus number this actress must be able to act, sing and dance and should also be able to tap. Songs: Go into your Dance, Getting out of Town, We’re in the Money, Lullaby of Broadway, Shuffle off to Buffalo, 42nd Street.

Person small1

Bert Barry - Ian Thomas

(Tenor) Maggie’s comic side kick. A worrier who wants to ensure his show is put on without a hitch. As mentioned needs to have a good relationship with Maggie and has a great duet, with Maggie interjections with Annie. An older man. Songs: Shadow Waltz, Go Into your Dance, Getting out of Town, Lullaby of Broadway, Shuffle off to Buffalo

Person small1

Andy Lee - Tony Frier

The dance director. Andy must be able to tap and be a believable choreographer of the show. Often found barking out instructions to the dance troupe as well as dancing with them.

Person small1

Pat Denning - Paul Foster

Dorothy’s good looking and suave ex -vaudeville partner and the love of her life. He likes to stir up trouble and forms a friendship with Peggy. A Little bit of a player but obviously really loves Dorothy. Songs: Getting Out of Town (optional)

Person small1

Abner Dillon - Wally Walters

(speaking role only) Dorothy’s wealthy but fussy sugar daddy. Abner is a very basic man who falls in and out of love easily, he is a push over but always looks after his investments. Preferably a texan accent and an older man.

Small1

Mac - Mark Humble

(speaking role only) Julian’s put upon, but efficient Stage Manager. Has a fair bit of dialogue throughout – can be involved in Musical numbers, but if there any actors out there that don’t sing and want to audition this is the part for you!

Person small1

Phyllis Dale - Emma Thompson

One of Anytime Annie’s sidekicks with acting and solo singing lines. Ideally tapper and should be able to appear in some chorus numbers so looking for good movers.

Person small1

Lorraine Fleming and Dance Troupe - Annelly James

One of Anytime Annie’s sidekicks with acting and solo singing lines. Ideally tapper and should be able to appear in some chorus numbers so looking for good movers.

Person small1

Dance Troupe - Bianca Clark

Person small1

Dance Troupe - Karen Regent

Small1

Waitress and Dance Troupe - Vicki Thomas

Person small1

Dance Troupe - Vicky Palmer

Small1

Dance Troupe - Rachel Price

Small1

Dance Troupe - Gemma Murphy

Person small1

Dance Troupe - Nicola Ivey

Person small1

Gladys - Anna Foster

Chorus Girl

Person small1

Ethel and Dance Troupe - Caroline Roberts

Chorus Girl

Person small1

Oscar - Chris Winslet

Rehearsal Pianist

Person small1

Diane Lorimar and Dance Troupe - Rachael Davis-Taylor

Chorus Girl

Person small1

Thug and Doctor - Graham Botterill

Small1

Director and Choreographer - Carolyn Floyd

Person small1

Musical Director - Chris Winslet

Person small1

Stage Manager - Liz Thomas

Person small1

Lighting - Jonathan Miller

Small1

Assistant Stage Manager - Clare Pinnock

Small1

Box Office Manager - Keith Bollands

Small1

Wardrobe - Judith Dolley

Person small1

Wardrobe - Anna Foster

Small1

Set Design and Construction - John Godliman

Small1

Assistant Choreographer - Gemma Murphy

Person small1

Assistant Stage Manager - Michelle Blake

Person small1

Sound - Steve Lonsdale

Person small1

Wardrobe - Jill Payne

Person small1

Hair and Make Up - Emma Dudley

Small1

Photography - Alan Bostock (www.photoeyes.biz)

Person small1

Musical Director - Chris Winslet