42nd Street Brings Broadway to APU

by Stephanie Fritz '10

Azusa Pacific Theater wowed audiences yet again with a rousing rendition of the Broadway musical 42nd Street. Bringing a show of this magnitude to the Mary Hill Theater is no easy task, but the dedicated cast worked hard to present a performance worthy of the Broadway stage.

“Every show sold out and then some, which means we had to add extra seats for overflow,” said Jeff Martinez, APU’s theater producer.

This musical within a musical tells the story of a young actress named Peggy Sawyer who comes to audition for a new Broadway show. Unfortunately, due to her nervous antics, Peggy arrives to the audition late and misses her chance to join the chorus. Luckily, Peggy soon catches the eye of the famous director, Julian Marsh, and he gives Peggy her big break. However, the show's aging leading lady, Dorothy Brock, quickly grows to dislike Peggy. On opening night, Ms. Brock falls and breaks her ankle. Panic spreads through the company, as the show is doomed for closure, until it is suggested that Peggy take the roll. In only 36 hours, Peggy learns 25 pages, 6 songs, and 10 dance numbers to become a star. Musical hits included "You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me," "Dames," "We’re in the Money," "Lullaby of Broadway," "Shuffle Off to Buffalo," and "42nd Street."     

42nd Street was adapted from a book by Bradford Ropes and the 1933 film of the same name. The 1980 Broadway production won the Tony Award for Best Musical and became a long running hit. The musical premiered in July 1980 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. After six previews, the Broadway production opened on August 25, 1980 at the Winter Garden Theatre, eventually moving to the Majestic and then the St. James before it finally completed its 3,486-performance run, the11th longest run in Broadway history.