A bad break gives an aspiring actress her big break in “42nd Street,” coming to Three Stages at Folsom Lake College.
El Dorado Musical Theatre’s production of the popular musical “is going to be killer,” said Director Debbie Wilson, “a little bit bigger, better and brighter.”
This is the second time EDMT has performed “42nd Street” but this production isn’t a repeat of what’s been done before. Costumer Christine Martorana and the set designers have really gone above and beyond to make the show, set in 1933, a great “spectacle,” said Wilson, who’s also the choreographer.
“It’s all about the (dance) numbers,” she explained. “It’s also about rising above yourself and being able to do things you didn’t think you could do.”
The dance numbers do steal the show and, Wilson said, with more experienced actors in lead roles the dances will surely wow the audience. Just ask Andrew Wilson, playing Billy Lawlor — an actor in the musical “Pretty Lady,” the musical within “42nd Street,” who first notices the beautiful Peggy Sawyer, the show’s heroine.
“This show is really very centered around the dances and Billy gets to do a lot of that. It has pushed me,” said Andrew, 15. “I’m going to be doing two back handsprings … so there’s that.”
Andrew, who has appeared in 27 EDMT productions, skillfully demonstrated the back handsprings, which left him a little breathless.
He received great compliments from co-star Carly Speno, who has the role of Peggy Sawyer, an aspiring actress from Pennsylvania who ends up in the lead role in “Pretty Lady” after the show’s star Dorothy Brock breaks her ankle. To become a star, Peggy has to learn 25 pages, six songs and 10 dance numbers in less than two days.
“I’ve been tapping since I was 8 or 9 but (this role) is challenging because the dancing is non-stop,” said Speno, 17, who has acted in 28 EDMT productions. “It definitely takes hours of your own time outside of rehearsal.”
“42nd Street” has also challenged Katherine Sorgea, 21, playing Dorothy Brock. “This is different than any other role I’ve had …. She’s more harsh,” said Sorgea, who explained that she usually takes the “sweet” roles. This is her 19th EDMT production. “It’s been a stretch for me.”
Brock is a bit of a prima donna, a fact not lost on Julian Marsh, the director of “Pretty Lady,” played by Matt Surges, 20. “He’s not a bad guy,” said Surges. “He’s just not a very nice guy.”
Surges, who has performed in seven EDMT productions, said he’s trying to “find the character.” Will the audience like or hate Julian Marsh? You’ll just have to go see the show to find out.
“42nd Street” stars Julian Marsh (Matt Surges), Peggy Sawyer (Carly Speno), Dorothy Brock (Katherine Sorgea), Billy Lawlor (Andrew Wilson), Ann Reilly (Heather Clark), Andy Lee (Stefan Sorgea), Bert Barry (Braiden Wells), Maggie Jones (Helen Regula), Phyllis Dale (Clara Regula), Lorraine Fleming (Anjie Rose Wilson), Pat Denning (David Bryant), Abner Dillon (Jordan Maxey), Mac (Dylan Gray), Diane Lorimer (Kaileen Teter), Ethel (Julia Adams), Doctor (Asher Dubin) and Thug (Zack Collins).
The Featured Money Ladies are: Julia Adams, Jillian Curry, Allie Frew, Kelly Maur, Madeline McConnell, Jenna Sharp and Kaileen Teter. They are joined by Ladies Elizabeth Dyer, Isabella Fay, Amber Hartigan, Maddie Kramer, Rikki Pratt, Nicole Sevey, Katie Siino, Madison Sykes, Alexis Vasile and Christina Vasile.
The Gentlemen are David Bryant, Quintin Casl, Zinnin Casl, Zack Collins, Asher Dubin, Asten Fallavollita, Patrick Freeman, Dylan Gray, CJ Knoble, Evan Martorana and Zach Wilson.
All EDMT’s Encore performers are ages 13 to 22.
“42nd Street” is based on the novel by Bradford Ropes with music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Al Dubin and book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble. EDMT’s production is directed by Wilson with producer Marylou Keane, vocal director Jennifer Martin, costumer Christine Martorana, lighting designer Mikala Wiegand, and sound by Karl Pedroni and Dave Teter.
Showtimes are: 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19; 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23; 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26; 7 p.m. Thursday March 1; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 3; and 2 p.m. March 4.
All shows are at Three Stages at Folsom Lake College, 10 College Parkway in Folsom. The show is rated G.
Tickets are $12 to $25. To purchase tickets call (916) 941-SING or visit threestages.net.