Sibling pairs cast in musical at Chesapeake Music Hall Musical: Two brothers and two sisters play major roles in the theater's first fall production, "42nd Street."

August 27, 1998|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Chesapeake Music Hall has always had a policy of presenting shows suitable for the whole family. Now, its family-friendly policy moves on stage with two brothers and two sisters in the cast of "42nd Street," which opens Sept. 11 at the theater on Route 50 outside Annapolis.

John Rose, 28, and Joe Rose, 25, were athletes in Baltimore County schools who got into show business after a baseball injury sidelined John in 1983. Jodi Adkins, 17, and Ashley Adkins, 14, have been in more than 70 community theater productions from Essex to Annapolis, half with each other, over the past 10 years.

The theater group didn't try to cast the show with brother-brother, sister-sister teams, said Sherry Kay, one of the owners -- it just worked out that way.

Inspired by sports injury

John joined the chorus of a production of "Li'l Abner" at Dundalk Community Theater for something to do after he injured a knee and persuaded Joe to join him. They wound up at Chesapeake Music Hall because of their love of cooking. John was the chief cook, and then Joe became chief cook after his brother moved to another dinner theater.

In "42nd Street," John plays dance director Andy Lee, and Joe plays the young male lead in "Pretty Lady," the play within this play.

The Adkins sisters started performing when Ashley was 3 and Jody 5. They first appeared together as two of the Von Trapp girls in a Dundalk Community College production of "The Sound of Music," Jodie as Marta and Ashley as Gretel.

Both girls appear in CMH's "Little Shop of Horrors," which runs through Sunday, with Jodi also serving as assistant choreographer to cousin Tiffani Baldwin in "Kiss Me Kate," now on the boards at Annapolis Summer Garden Theater.

The girls live with their parents in Gambrills and attend Archbishop Spalding High School, where Ashley is a freshman and Jodi a senior. In "42nd Street," Jodi plays the young hopeful chorus girl Peggy Sawyer and Ashley is in the chorus.

From screen to stage

"42nd Street" began as a 1933 movie musical and was reincarnated on Broadway in 1960 by legendary choreographer Gower Champion. The 1960 version added several Harry Warren-Al Dubin songs to a tuneful score that included the title song, "Lullaby of Broadway," and "We're in the Money."

The plot centers on stage-struck chorus girl Sawyer, who gets her big break when "Pretty Lady" star Dorothy Brock (Sherry Kay) breaks her ankle during the show's tryout. Stardom and romance follow.

"42nd Street" runs through Nov. 22. Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings with matinees Sundays and some Wednesdays.

Information: 410-626-7515 or 800-406-0306.

Pub Date: 8/27/98

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