It’s Christmas Eve, folks! And I counter this bitter cold with warm wishes for a Happy Holiday! What warms my soul right now is thinking back on the gathering yesterday of the cast of 42ND ST for their first full company rehearsal. What a sensational group! Led by Larry Adams’ Julian Marsh, Cathy Lord’s Dorothy Brock, Roger Mueller’s Abner Dillon and Laura Savage as Peggy Sawyer, I could feel my heart pounding with excitement to see everyone of this spectacular cast under one roof! I could barely speak as I welcomed them and expressed what a gift they are to be here in Aurora and the gift the show itself is to our audience! These are some crazy divisive times we are living in and I reflect on how Director Rachel Rockwell spoke of the unifying power of 42ND ST; the corps of talented youngsters rallying around the Broadway show they’re in, threatened to close during The Great Depression. “A love letter to the Chorus” is how Rachel put it. I think of how all our differences seem to melt away, dissolve into the dark as we become dazzled by the sheer joy of tap dancing and the singing of those great popular melodies from Busby Berkeley’s 1933 film starring Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, Ginger Rogers and Warner Baxter: “Young and Healthy,” “You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me,” “I Only Have Eyes for You,” We’re in the Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “About a Quarter to Nine,” “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” and of course the title song, “Forty-Second Street,” just to name several! Geez! Every tune is a classic! Rachel’s presentation of Kevin Depinet’s set design in a beautiful miniature model garnered vocal appreciation and applause, its simply a knock out. And I got a glimpse last Friday of Choreographer Tammy Mader working with our ingenue, Laura Savage playing Peggy Sawyer and Richard Strimer who plays Andy Lee, the choreographer in the story…Holy Toledo! The tap dancing is world class knock your socks off amazing! I just don’t see how their dancing isn’t going to be stopping the show all night…does this mean a longer running time than expected?! Add to handsome leading man, Jim Rank as Pat Denning and Dina DiCostanzo as sassy Anytime Annie, the comic timing of Nancy Voights and Michael Weber as the producers and writing team Maggie Jones and Bert Barry, watch out! We could be in trouble holding for laughs as well!!! Due to prior commitments Broadway dancer, singer, actor Tyler Haynes joins the cast after Christmas. Tyler won the role of Billy Lawlor bringing matinee idol looks and dynamite over the top dance skills heating up anticipation as well.
Also heating things up are the recent casting updates for RENT coming in from Company Manager, Jennette Nohl. This just in: Adam Michaels in the role of Roger and Andrea Prestinario as Maureen…we’re cooking now! Havin’ a heat wave! Only two more roles to go!
Well, dear friend, let me wish many blessings upon you and that you experience this Holiday Season as one of many “Seasons of Love” throughout the New Year and to remember that while “Baby, Its Cold Outside” you can always say, “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm”.