Langara Voice editors Emelie Peacock and Kristyn Anthony go behind the scenes to witness the preparation for opening night and to chat with the cast of 42nd Street.
Reported by Jason Gilder
A landmark Broadway musical is bringing show-stopping production value to the small stage of Studio 58.
42nd Street is the largest musical production the theatre program has presented to date, with 75 per cent of seats already snatched up.
The proceeds from Studio 58’s $250,000 Legacy Fund were used to expand the show’s technical elements for this big-budget smash-hit.
Professional musicians give the show a major boost
Studio 58 artistic director, Kathryn Shaw, says one major area the fund provided a boost in was by bolstering the play’s music elements.
“Usually we would be lucky to have a piano player or two,” said Shaw. “Now we have a trombone, a sax, trumpet, bass and a drum.”
Enlarged music elements come with bigger responsibilities for musical director Christopher King.
“They are all professional players,” said King. “To get that kind of quality player requires a little bit of money and it is worth every penny.”
42nd Street one of the world’s most-loved musicals
42nd Street tells the story of Peggy Sawyer, a talented young performer with an eye on starring on Broadway, who arrives in New York City at the height of the Great Depression. Over time, she is ultimately swept up in the challenge of putting on a musical when joblessness and poverty run rampant throughout the country.
The musical, based on a 1932 novel by Bradford Ropes, was first produced on Broadway in 1980, racking up numerous Tony Awards over the course of its original residency and 2001 revival.
In her final production at Studio 58, Stephanie Wong says she had to channel her inner diva as Dorothy Brock, a seasoned veteran in theatre arts who experiences a whirlwind change because of the economic depression that swept the United States in the 1930s.
“She goes from this diva who has worked very hard for that entitlement and you see her breaking point,” says Wong, adding that, “the Depression helps her discover what’s most important to her, which is love.”
42nd Street runs until Feb. 26 at Langara College’s Studio 58. Tickets can be purchased online through Studio 58’s website at langara.ca/studio-58.