From left, Matt Cohrs convinces Kenzie Bigott to continue during the Lullaby of Broadway production number.
By Vera Olinski
WANTAGE — “Come and meet those dancing feet, on the avenue I'm taking you to, 42nd Street,” croons High Point Regional High School's Matt Cohrs in their upcoming production of “42nd Street.” Cohrs portrays producer and director Julian Marsh. During rehearsal, a stage full of perfectly synchronized cast members tap and and sing well-known production numbers like: “Dames,” including top hats, tails, and beautiful Ziegfeld Follies-like dresses; “We're in the Money,” with breathtaking leaps; “The Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off to Buffalo,” in a moving red curtained two-tier train of sweet singing “New York” nasal accents, with a few “Ethel Merman” belts; and the “spot on” tap dancing grand finale of “42nd Street.” Director Theresa Riccardi said, “42nd Street” is the quintessential Broadway Musical.” She said it takes place in 1933, when chorus girl Peggy Sawyer of Allentown, Pa., dreams to make it on Broadway. Ultimately, Sawyer, portrayed by Kenzie Bigott, steps into the leading lady role — every chorus girl's dream — of the Broadway Musical “Pretty Lady.” Throughout the entire show, the High Point cast sings jazzy, swinging songs, beautiful solos, and duets. Diva Dorothy Brock, portrayed by Hannah Orr, sings “I Know Now,” with palpable anguish. The song is then picked up by male chorus members who amusingly mock the lyrics, until finally, tenor Billy Lawlor — portrayed by Andrew Wire, sings and belts out “now,” in a powerful conclusion with some chorus girls. Riccardi said, the directors thought “42nd Street” would be a great follow-up to last year's production of “Singing in the Rain,” which included a lot of tap dancing. She added, the students have worked tirelessly to perfect every piece of choreography and every note they sing, as well as tell a believable story. She also said, they have approximately 400 costumes in the show, including rentals. Riccardi noted, some costumes will be worn only once, never again to be seen. On top of incredible production values, the show has become a community event as parents, and even alumni parents, raise money, cook dinners for 18 crew and 34 cast members, sew, create, and organize costumes, curtains, and sets. Others contributing their many talents are: Musical Director John Zatorski, Orchestra Conductor Harold Woods, Set Designer Rose Riccardi, and Choreographer Lisa Simko of Dance Expression. “42nd Street” will be performed in High Point Regional School District Auditorium: Friday, March 31, and Saturday, April 1, at 7 p.m., plus the Sunday, April 2 matinee at 2 p.m. Adult tickets cost $12, and students, senior citizens, and children cost $10. During the Sunday Matinee, senior citizens are free. For reserved seating, either call: (973) 875-3101 X3680 or buy tickets at the door.