Award-Winning Musical Rocks GPAC


Photo courtesy of Chad Locklear/GPAC

The Broadway musical, “42nd Street,” shown on Jan. 26 at the Givens Performing Arts Center, received standing ovations and cheers from the audience of more than 800.

The show was “excellent, best we’ve had all season,” Emma Locklear, former school counselor, said.

“I liked the props and costume changes,” freshman Cece Hampton said.

Some students attended the production as a class assignment and said that they would consider coming to more productions held at the school in the future.

“42nd Street” is a play within a play. It showcased all the work and drama that goes into the production of a Broadway musical. This play shows what happens behind the scenes; it shows everything before, during and after the show.

The play starts off with a tap dance scene entitled “Audition.” It captivated the audience and set the stage for what was to come.

The plot centers around a small-town girl, Peggy Sawyer, who decides to try to make a career in Broadway in New York City. Peggy misses the audition due to nerves. She eventually enters and hopes to get cast in “Pretty Lady,” the musical in production. However, she learns she has missed her chance and runs out of the room bumping into director, Julian Marsh. She is written off at first, but the show ends up being short one woman, so she is hired as a showgirl.

The star of the show, Dorothy Brock, is an obvious prima donna. She gets the starring role because her boyfriend, Abner Dillion, is sponsoring the entire production. Later in the show it is revealed that Dorothy is having an affair with her old boyfriend, Pat Denning. Julian learns of this affair and hires men to scare Pat away in fear that Abner would learn of the affair and no longer sponsor the show. Pat is successfully scared off, leaving Dorothy.

The cast travels to Philadelphia to perform their opening show. During the Act One finale, Peggy trips causing Dorothy to fall and break her ankle. Julian fires Peggy. The cast is upset the show is being cancelled because they will be out of a job. They convince the director that Peggy would make a perfect lead character due to her raw natural talent.

Julian rushes to the train station to stop Peggy from leaving and convinces her to star in the show. Later, the whole cast comes to the train station and convinces Peggy to do the show.

Julian must help Peggy learn the show in two days. Peggy is on the verge of a breakdown and receives an unexpected visit from Dorothy with advice on how to do the final song.

In one scene, Peggy must show love for her counterpart. However, she can’t because she has never been in love. Julian kisses her over and over to show her how to play the part. The musical was a success and the cast goes out to celebrate. Peggy hopes Julian will join her at the party, and, in this scene, they kiss again.

“42nd Street” made its debut in 1980, winning the Tony Award for Best Musical a year later. It is based on a 1932 novel with the same title by Bradford Ropes, with a movie being released in 1933.


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