Come and meet those dancing feet

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By: Maria Lamagna <[email protected]>

The performing arts department will present its production of “42nd Street” starting next Thursday. Featuring tap dancing and traditional Broadway style, the show will diverge from the fairy tales presented over the past several years and return to Broadway basics.

Director Lamonte Kuskye said, “It is the epitome of what people think of as a Broadway show…the essence of musical comedy, very light-hearted and fun.”

This year, the musical differs from recent productions due to its ensemble tap routines and emphasis on dance. Kuskye said that before the show even began, many prospective performers signed up for after-school tap classes or participated in student-run tap workshops during SRT.

Senior Taylor Bossung will play Julian Marsh, a leading role in the production. He said that he feels the transition to a traditional show this year was a positive one.

“I think it’s just time for a change,” he said. “We kind of moved from Disney to get a better variety of productions.”

Bossung said he thinks the show will still engage a younger audience, similar to the fairy tales of the past several years.

“It doesn’t have all of the more ‘fantastic’ elements that the other shows had. But it’s a classic story that has held its own since it appeared on Broadway,” he said.

Opening night is May 8, and the show will continue until May 11. As of press deadline on Monday, many seats are still available for each show. Students may buy them in the bookstore for $15, $12, $10 or $8 depending on the location in the auditorium.

According to Kuskye, over 100 students auditioned for the musical. Though most were involved in choir, it was not a requirement.

They went through an audition process which included singing a selection from the show and performing a dance audition. The directors then invited some students back to read scenes from the show to potentially cast them in leading roles. The result was a talented cast of over 40 students.

Senior Katie Mazzini will play Maggie Jones, a leading role in the show.

She said, “It’s probably the best mix of talent we’ve had in a while. All around, the dancing, the singing, everything. The set is going to be really cool too.”

Both Kuskye and Bossung said that the cast has been focused during rehearsals. “Now that the Ambassador competition show is all over, we know this is our one goal for the end of the year,” Bossung said.

Kuskye said much of his enthusiasm for the show stems from the cast’s dance talent.

“There aren’t a lot of tap shows that people can see,” he said. “To see high school kids that can sing and dance at this level, it’s amazing.”