By Carolyn Corsano Wong Photo: Michael Pittman
STAGE RIGHT of Texas, resident theatre company at the historic Crighton Theatre, presents the quintessential musical comedy 42nd Street February 8-24, 2019. With Book by Michael Stewart & Mark Bramble, Music by Harry Warren, Lyrics by Al Dubin, the show has been called the ultimate show-biz musical. Aspiring 1930’s chorus girl Peggy Sawyer comes to the big city from Allentown PA, and soon lands her first big job in the ensemble of a glitzy new Broadway show; “Pretty Lady”. But just before opening night, the leading lady breaks her ankle. Will Peggy be able to step in and become a star? The score is chock-full of Broadway standards, including “You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me,” “Dames,” “We’re In the Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” and “Forty-Second Street.”
Award winning director Manny Cafeo has assembled an experienced and talented cast to bring this tale to life on the Crighton stage. Leading the cast as Peggy Sawyer is Montie Award winning audience favorite Sara Preisler. Roles here include Inga in Young Frankenstein, Ulla in The Producers, Wednesday in The Addams Family and her Montie Award winning tapping turn as Kathy Seldon in Singin’ in the Rain. Playing established star Dorothy Brock is Layne Roberts. Layne is making a quick return to the Crighton stage; she was last seen as Helen Haley in Glitz-The Little Miss Christmas Pageant Musical. Prior to that she was seen here as Enid in Legally Blonde and Magenta in the Rocky Horror Show at Lone Star College. Playing Dorothy Brock’s leading man, Billy Lawlor, is Cain Hamilton. Cain appeared as Prince Charming in Into The Woods and Ambrose Kemper in Hello Dolly. Playing charismatic and demanding director Julian Marsh is Michael Martin. Michael was seen as the difficult and demanding Horace Vandergelder in Hello Dolly and difficult and demanding Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady (this seems to be a trend!). Appearing as co-writers of “Pretty Lady” is Carolyn Wong as Maggie Jones and John Kaiser as Bert Barry. Carolyn was seen on the Crighton stage last season as Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly and Randa Covington in this season’s smash hit The Savannah Sipping Society. John Kaiser was the Mysterious Man in Into the Woods and has performed in many theatres throughout Houston including the Classical Theatre Company and Playhouse 1960. Playing choreographer Andy Lee is audience favorite Adam Isbell. Audiences have enjoyed Adam’s appearances on stage including Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka and Frederick in Young Frankenstein and his work behind the scenes in many productions as assistant director and hair/wig stylist. Appearing on the Crighton stage for the very first time is husband and wife team J. David LaRue as money man Abner Dillon and Debbie LaRue as dancer Diane Lorimer. The LaRues recently moved to the area prior to that they appeared in theatre in Dhahran Saudi Arabia. Returning to the Crighton stage as Dorothy Brocks love interest Pat Denning is Johnny Barton. A DJ at KSTAR Country radio, Johnny has appeared on Conroe area stages for many years most recently in the Conroe Shakespeare Festival and as gangster Sonny Barbosa in Farce of Nature, and a gangster in Kiss Me Kate at the Owen (another casting trend!). Playing Stage Manager Maxine is Becki Kinch. Becki’s last appearance on stage was as Little Red Riding Hood’s Grandma and cow Milky White in Into the Woods. Will Radcliffe has a dual role in this show as Oscar the piano player and the Doctor. A retired lawyer, Will has performed on the Crighton stage many years most recently in multiple roles in Glitz-The Little Miss Christmas Pageant Musical. The multi-talented Dinah Mahlman appears as lead dancer Annie. Dinah directed the wildly popular Savannah Sipping Society, she is also choreographer for 42nd Street and won a Montie Award for her choreography of Singin’ in the Rain. One of Dinah’s dancers is the lovely Abigail Hudson playing Phyllis. Abigail has performed in multiple shows Conroe including Hello Dolly and Mary Poppins here and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at the Owen. Also dancing in the show are Conroe’s favorite musical theatre twins; Monae and Monique Lott. The talented duo appear as Tessie and Jessie and were last seen at the Crighton as Oompa Loompas in Willy Wonka. Lydia Derksen is returning to the Crighton as dancer Lorraine. Lydia is an aspiring artist and pianist. She last appeared here in Hello Dolly as did Melissa Cummins who appears in this show as dancer Millie. Melissa, a professor of music history at Sam Houston, was a high kicking waiter in Hello Dolly. Also dancing in Hello Dolly was Hannah Gilchriest who appears in this show as Winnie. Hannah’s beautiful smile has lit up our stage previously in My Fair Lady and The Elephant Man. The talented Kristin Conrad is also dancing in the show as Gladys. Kristin’s dancing talent has been on display in numerous shows here including Young Frankenstein, Mary Poppins, Legally Blonde (Gaelen), The Producers, and Shrek the Musical. Katie Kelly is returning to the Crighton stage after moving back to the area in the ensemble. Katie has costumed shows for us and appeared in quite a few including The Carol Burnett Show, Mama Won’t Fly and Singin’ in the Rain. We have some new faces in the cast making their Crighton debut; Madison Mapes (who appeared at the Owen most recently as Logainne SchwartzandGrubennierre in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Emily Van Eaton (has appeared in many CYT shows including Annie Get Your Gun (Annie Oakley), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Ruth Sanders), The Little Mermaid (Ursula), Little Women (Amy March), and The Music Man (Zaneeta Shinn)), Sarah Steindl (who has appeared in shows at the Owen including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Dorcas), Steel Magnolias (Annelle Dupuy-Desoto), and Dial M for Murder (Margot Wendice), Rebecca Rodriguez Teater (a trained vocalists has appeared in many musicals and dramas in school, such as The Great Gatsby (Jordan Baker), The Song of Bernadette (Bernarde Casterote), and Seussical (Wickersham Brother), and Sebastian Tutt (has never been in a musical before and is enjoying the experience of learning new things and making new friends- which is what community theatre is all about!).
Since 42nd Street is all about the desire to perform we have selected a very special group to be our Spotlight Non-Profit; The Lynn Lucas Middle School’s Workshop Theatre. They will be in the side lobby with information and collecting donations for a special trip. We hope our patrons will consider making a donation to help get these kids to realize a dream. Below is information from their teacher, Susan Burge:
The Lynn Lucas Middle School’s Workshop Theatre has been selected to perform their play 1984 at the American Association of Community Theatres (AACT) National Festival in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania during the week of June 18 – 22, 2019. The 1984 cast and crew of 18 students include students from Willis High School, Lynn Lucas Middle School, and Lake Creek High School. Only four youth groups from around the nation are selected. The selection process includes both school groups and community theatre groups. The AACTFest is the culmination of the adult community theatre competitions that occur around the nation. Workshop Theatre actors will be able to network and watch the national finalists in the adult community theatre competition during the week. Then, they will perform 1984 and be adjudicated as a learning and educational experience for all. During the festival week there will also be workshops, activities, and social events designed specifically for them.
42nd Streets runs February 8 – 24 Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. The historic Crighton Theatre is located at 234 N. Main Street in downtown Conroe, Texas. Tickets are $24 for adults, $20 for seniors and $15 for youth under 16 yr. Group discounts are available by calling the box office. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Crighton box office 936-441-7469 or online at www.stage-right.org.