Think of ‘musical comedy’, the most glorious words in the English language!Julian Marsh. 42nd Street
After watching 42nd Street at the Mac-Haydn Theatre in Chatham, you will be in a good mood for the rest of the evening, into the next day, and who knows, maybe for at least the next two weeks until “Footloose” opens.
With only eight days to rehearse, the cast of 42nd Street at the Mac-Haydn Theatre did a phenomenal job.
Photo stills provided by Ann Kielbasa
For many of us, it is officially summer in Columbia County when the Mac-Haydn opens its doors. Every two weeks, we look forward to another fabulous production. While one show is running in the evening, the cast is rehearsing the next show during the day. Hats off to choreographer Mandy Modic (interviewed above) for organizing so many wonderful dance routines. Thank you to Director John Saunders and the entire creative team for their hard work and talent and for putting these shows together. It’s quite an undertaking!
42nd Street was originally a 1933 movie starring Ruby Keeler and Ginger Rogers with choreography by Busby Berkeley. It was not until 1980, that 42nd Street became Broadway show. The story is about young doe-eyed Allentown ingenue Peggy Sawyer played brilliantly and sweetly by Rachel Revellese, (interviewed above) who gets her big break in show business and becomes a star – and OMG can she TAP DANCE! Madison Stratton (interviewed above) plays Dorothy Brock, the seasoned actress. Stratton has a wide acting and vocal range; she switches from sultry and sexy to fun and comedic. Billy Lawlor’s character is played by Jonah Hale (interviewed above). His operatic and crooning voice is charming and romantic.
The Mac-Haydn Theatre in-the-round keeps the audience close and at the edge of their seats. In the scene at the train station, we wait breathlessly for Peggy Sawyer/Rachel Revellese to stay, do the show, and scream, “I’ll do it!”
The Mac-Haydn Coffee House also returns this year! Stay later on Fridays and Saturdays, and hear the cast sing songs from the next show and more. Plus, there are pies! Lots of homemade pies and cakes, and brownies – totally worth it.
The lyrics I loved were the second versus of “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” (cynical, even for 1933):
Matrimony is baloney– “Shuffle Off to Buffalo”
She’ll be wanting alimony
In a year of so
Still they go and shuffle
Shuffle Off to Buffalo
When she knows as much as we know
She’ll be on her way to Reno
While he still has dough
She’ll give him the Shuffle
When they’re back from Buffalo
They sing this song while doing the “shuffle” dance.
[Note: in the 1930’s, a woman could only get a divorce in Nevada and many traveled to Reno,lived there for six weeks, then got a divorce.]
There are well-known songs, such as “We’re in the Money” and “The Lullaby of Broadway”. For those of you who grew up in the area, maybe you remember this commercial:
This weekend is the last time to Come and Meet – those dancing feet! On the avenue I’m taking you to, 42nd Street!
Next week is Footloose! Can’t wait!