Musical comedy opening at AACC

Moonlight Troupers will present `42nd Street' starting tomorrow night

Runs through next weekend

Arundel Live

November 06, 2003|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Tomorrow and through next weekend we can "meet those dancing feet" at Moonlight Troupers' production of 42nd Street at Anne Arundel Community College's Pascal Center for Performing Arts in Arnold.

Having come off what she describes as "the high gear of technical weekend into final dress rehearsals," director Barbara Marder calls this "the quintessential musical comedy, Broadway fairy tale of the little girl from Allentown who gets a chance to star in a new musical when the star breaks her ankle two days before opening night."

Also enjoying her work on 42nd Street was Marsha Goldsmith, vocal coach and pit pianist for the past three Moonlight Troupers musicals.

Goldsmith said that she again has "such a nice bunch of kids who are eager to do well and are grateful for the help we can give them. There's a special camaraderie among these performers. Theater at AACC strikes a high level of professionalism and provides unique opportunities for students and community."

42nd Street was born in 1933 as a backstage movie musical, not arriving on Broadway until nearly 50 years later when Gower Champion brought his spectacular high-powered choreography to it. Champion died the day the musical opened on Broadway -- Aug. 26, 1980 -- but his work endured in the show, which ran for 3,486 performances. With Champion's restaged choreography, his genius continues to infuse the Broadway revival that opened in May 2001.

For anyone who saw the televised post-9/11 "Lullaby of Broadway" performance at Times Square, this song forever identifies the spunky spirit of Broadway. The show gained increased significance for me with that memorable performance of this song and others from the classic Harry Warren and Al Dubin score.

For these next two weekends, we can expect much of Broadway to be on view in the Moonlight Troupers production. Always outstanding, the sets will undoubtedly have some notable big-city glitz. Most of the women are to have seven or eight costume changes, which should add up to a visually exciting, fast-paced show.

Starring as the Broadway diva Dorothy Brock will be local leading lady Nori Morton, who recently played Roxie Hart in Chicago at Chesapeake Music Hall. Playing talented ingenue Peggy Sawyer will be AACC music and theater major Jennifer Kohlhafer of Millersville.

Trent Goldsmith, music director of St. Mary's High School in Annapolis, will play Peggy's romantic interest, Billy Lawlor. Goldsmith was seen as Freddy Insford-Hill in Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre's My Fair Lady. Walt League, veteran of Colonial Players, Annapolis Summer Garden and Bowie Community Theatre, will play tough Broadway director Julian Marsh.

Others featured in the cast include AACC students Valerie Sale and Jonathon Henderson, who will provide some comedy in their roles as writers.

AACC student Myles Park serves as the show's dance captain and will be seen as Andy; Todd Harland-White of Arnold will play Pat Denning; and veteran actor Jerry Vess of Annapolis is cast as Abner Dillon, diva Dorothy's sugar daddy. Playing Peggy's friends are AACC theater students Katelyn and Erin Linnell of Glen Burnie, Danielle Coleman of Columbia and Meghan Taylor of Annapolis.

"42nd Street" will be presented at 8 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Shows also are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13, 8 p.m. Nov. 14 and 15, and 2 p.m. Nov. 16. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for seniors and groups, and $8 for AACC students, employees and children ages 3 to 13. Reservations: 410- 777-2457.

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