Come and meet the dancing feet at ’42nd Street’


Photo by Tristan Corcoran

The cast of ’42nd Street’ squeeze together after finishing the last rehearsal during tech week.

Students will bring Tony Award-winning musical “42nd Street” to life today through Saturday.

Directed by Michael Shackelford, the play tells the story of of a struggling director who decides to put on one final musical before retiring. Unfortunately, drama unfolds backstage as his lead actress falls in love with both the show’s financial backer and a fellow actor. This gives a young, upcoming actress the chance to shine.

Every year, vocal director Rob Blaney and musical director Joslynne Blasdel the spring musical, out of three interviewed performers, all three said they prefer this year’s choice over last year’s musical, “Jane Eyre,” which was much darker than most shows put on by the school.

“‘42nd Street’ is a bigger dance show and includes many more upbeat, fun numbers. Not only are performers asked to sing and act, but now they’re asked to dance!” sophomore and dancer Jennifer Rudolph said.

“42nd Street” tells a much less dramatic story and is closer to home due the play actually being about the performance industry. Rudolph said that she and the other actors are excited about telling the story of their work and feel that they will truly be able to showcase their many talents.

Performers have been attending rehearsal almost daily from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. to perfect their work ahead of the show. A typical rehearsal is divided into three parts: vocals, choreography and scene work.

After months of preparation, the cast  joins the orchestra, which is responsible for the show’s soundtrack, for dress rehearsals running from Feb. 4 to the 16th in order to run through the musical in its entirety. This allows Blaney to work with both groups and sort out any problems regarding the music.

“Once the show is in rehearsal, I play piano in the pit with the orchestra,” Blaney said. “I also work with the director and choreographer to make any necessary cuts in the music and relay that information to the orchestra.”

The inclusion of tap dancing has provided an additional challenge for the cast, as most students have little-to-no experience with the dance style. To combat this, Blaney explained that the cast has put plenty of extra time into learning their routines and have proven worth with  positivity and work ethic.

“The cast is amazing, and everyone has been working really hard; I feel so blessed to be in this show with all these amazing people,” senior and performer Chris Kagoo said. ”I feel that everything is just coming together and clicking, which makes me really excited for the show.”