On Jan. 26, Givens Performing Arts Center brings 42nd Street to the stage. The show c is about the American dream and it centers around the character Peggy Sawyer. She is a young dancer who leaves her quiet town to take her chances in New York. She auditions for the Broadway musical, Pretty Lady. Peggy starts off as the traditional underdog character. The lead in the show goes to an already legendary starlet. However, Peggy gets her lucky break when the leading lady breaks her ankle and Peggy gets to take over the lead role. The show has been described as a “tap dance extravaganza” and offers an entertaining peak into Broadway’s backstage drama.
Gerriane Genga plays Dorothy Brock, the leading lady who breaks her ankle. “This show is filled with all the magic and sparkle of Broadway,” she said. “The music is incredible. Some of the numbers include “We’re In The Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off To Buffalo,” “Dames,” “I Only Have Eyes For You” and of course “42nd Street.”
For Genga, the story is a classic, but the scenery and choreography make it that much better. “The set designers create a beautiful stage for telling this story,” she said. “And the costumes are just as impressive. The choreography is so energetic. You will definitely leave with a smile on your face.”
Genga added that the cast is filled with energy on and off stage. “They bring such intensity to every performance and every town we visit. This is quite an energetic cast.”
This story has long roots stretching back to 1933 when Hollywood adapted Bradford Rope’s novel into a film. In 1980 Gower Champion directed the show on Broadway and in 1981, it won the Tony Award for Best Musical. It went on to play 3,486 performances on Broadway. In 2001 the show made another appearance on Broadway. It played for 1,524 performances and won the Tony for Best Revival. This traveling performance of the show is direction by Mark Bramble and choreography by Randy Skinner. This is the same dynamic duo that brought Broadway the 2001 award-winning revival.
“A lot of people don’t know that this show almost didn’t open when it debuted,” said Genga. “The original director, Gower Champion, died hours before the curtain rose. But none of the performers knew it until after the show was over.”
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at www.uncp.edu/gpactickets , by visiting the box office in person or by calling 910.521.6361. Tickets cost between $10 and $14.