2011-01-20 / Entertainment

MHS/Middle School To Present “42nd Street”


McConnellsburg High School is delighted to have Erica Sexton as the director of this year’s musical “42nd Street.” Erica is a graduate of Shenandoah University with a bachelor’s degree in costume design. She has worked for the Kennedy Center and is presently employed by the county of Fulton Domestic Relations.

“42nd Street” is a big, bold musical set in 1933 that celebrates the stuff dreams are made of. The curtain rises on Julian Marsh ( Nick Mc- Clure), the director who is auditioning tap dancers for the chorus of a new show “Pretty Lady.” Young Peggy Sawyer (Gabrielle McGarvey) has missed the audition because she has spent an hour trying to muster up her courage to audition. Billy Lawlor (Cole Johnston), the romantic lead, tries to help her see the director and coproducer Bert Barry (Ashton Doyle), but Julian and Bert have no use for latecomers. The co-author of the show (Katelynn Mellott) and Julian are worried about Dorothy Brock (Emily Wenschhof), the leading lady whose last hit was 10 years earlier, but whose beau, Abner Dillon (Josh McKelvy), is backing the show.

When Dorothy and Abner arrive, Julian suggests that Dorothy audition. Peggy has lunch with chorus lead Ann Reilly (Emily Watkins) and some of the chorus girls (Marleigh Jennings, Brandi Welsh, Kelsey Ramsey, Jessica Nero, Kayla Reimold, Kristie Atkins) at the Gypsy Tea Kettle. They dance back to the theater, and Julian sees how talented Peggy really is. He hires her for the chorus. Peggy faints during rehearsal and is brought to Dorothy’s dressing room where Pat Denning (Larkin Shearer), Dorothy’s real boyfriend is waiting. The cast throws a party and Dorothy tells Abner to take his money and leave.

Abner is ready to close the show, but the kids are able to talk him out of it. “Pretty Lady” opens, but when Dorothy dances on stage, she falls and breaks her ankle. Panic spreads through the cast, and finally they turn to Peggy to keep the show alive. The Broadway curtain rises on “Pretty Lady” and the show is a fabulous hit. Broadway is at truly magical place once again.

Come and join the rest of the cast (Katie Atkins, Jessica Deshong, DeAnne Dickerson, Jessica Dinnien, Haley Garlock, Alexa Helser, Shelby Long, Leah Mellott, Hannah Paylor, Ashley Penwell, Doug Seiders, Austin Shelly, Sarah Strait, Bryce Wilford, Kirsten Wilford, Sara Beth Winegardner, Grace Youngblood, and Lucas Youngblood for fun-filled night of tapping, dancing and singing.

Mark calendars for April 7, 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium. To support “42nd Street,” donations can be made to MHS, c/o Cindy Fraker, 151 East Cherry St., McConnellsburg, PA 17233.

This project is supported by a grant of $718 from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts. The money will be used to defray production expenses. The PA Partners in the Arts is an initiative between local arts organizations and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency. State government funding for the arts comes through an annual appropriation by the state General Assembly and from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. It is administered in this region by the Council for the Arts in Chambersburg.

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