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Stoneham Theatre Presents 42ND STREET, 5/5-5/29

Stoneham Theatre presents 42nd Street, directed and choreographed by Ilyse Robbins; with music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Al Dubin, book by Michael Stewart & Mark Bramble. Performances run May 5-29: Thurs. (7:30 pm), Fri. (8 pm), Sat. (4 pm & 8 pm), Sun. (2 pm). Tickets: $44-$48 regular admission; senior discounts apply; all student tickets $20. Student/senior discount matinees available. [Special pay-what-you-can Thursday performance: May 5.] Stoneham Theatre, 395 Main Street, Stoneham. Wheelchair accessible. For advance tickets and information, visit or call the Box Office at 781-279-2200 (hours Tues.-Sat., 1-6pm) or log onto www.stonehamtheatre.org.

Nostalgia reigns in a production like 42nd Street and dancing rules the stage. But right beneath the spectacle, there is a story brewing that warms the cockles of every heart in the audience. When young actress-singer-dancer Peggy Sawyer steps off that bus into New York City, her Allentown, PA roots need to be kept under wraps. It is 1933, when one only has enough possessions to carry in one small suitcase. Triple threat Peggy is in the big city to audition for a role in Pretty Lady and without further adieu, she is bamboozled by fellow performer Billy Lawlor, browbeaten by choreographer Andy Lee, pursued by director Julian Marsh, and poised to be a threat to getting-on-in-years diva Dorothy Brock. Dorothy breaks her ankle, Julian begs Peggy to step in with only a few days to prepare ... will she rise to the occasion? With a plot like this, what's not to like!

"They're side by side, they're glorified
Where the underworld can meet the elite,
Forty-Second Street."

Based on the Great Depression-era novel of the same name written by Bradford Ropes (c1932) and first adapted as a movie musical in 1933, 42nd Street is one of the most memorable Broadway stage musicals of all times. It received a Tony award for best Broadway production in 1980, and then went on to win another Tony in 2001 for Best Revival on Broadway.

Stoneham Theatre's production of 42nd Street will have as director the highly regarded Boston-area choreographer Ilyse Robbins in her professional directorial debut. The cast includes: Ephie Aardema (as Peggy Sawyer), Kathy St. George (as Dorothy Brock), Russell Garrett (as Julian Marsh), Andy McLeavey (as Billy Lawlor), and Kevin Martin (as Andy Lee); along with Margaret Ann Brady (as Maggie Jones), Neil Casey (as Bert Barry), Bob DeVivo (as Pat Denning), Arthur Waldstein (as Abner Dillon) and Ceit Zweil (as "Anytime Annie" Reilly). The ensemble is rounded out by Deirdre Burke, Sara Coombs, Laura Graczyk, Zach Gregus, Mark Linehan, DJ Plunkett, and Brandon Timmons. The artistic support team is made up of Kathryn Kawecki (scenic design), Rafael Jaen (costume design), Jeff Adelberg (lighting design), Sarah Rozen (props), and pianist Jim Rice as musical director and leader of a 3-piece band .

The Melrose Cooperative Bank is the sponsor for the special Pay-What-You-Can Thursday of 42nd Street. Stoneham Theatre also wishes to thank Montvale Plaza for its generosity during pre-production preparations.

Additional Events at Stoneham Theatre Connected to the Production:
-- 42nd Street Talkback:
Sunday, May 8, following the 2 pm matinee. Join the artists who bring 42nd Street to life in a lively and educational discussion of the play, the process, and all things theatre. Refreshments will be served.

--42nd Street: Those Dancin' Feet:
Saturday, May 14, 2:00-3:30 pm. Tap dance workshops held for two different levels of experience: beginner and beyond-beginner. Each of the workshops will be led by 42nd Street cast members and/or the choreographer. $25 per person (includes tickets to the 4 pm matinee). To register contact Laura Shofner at (781) 587-7914 or laura@stonehamtheatre.org.

Special additional performances of 42nd Street:
-- 42nd Street will have 3 additional senior matinees held at 2 pm on the following Wednesdays: May 11, May 18, and May 25. All tickets are $30 per person. Further information can be obtained by contacting the Box Office.

Further 42nd Street Background Information:

Ilyse Robbins (Director/Choreographer) proudly makes her professional directorial debut at Stoneham Theatre, a stage that she knows and loves well. Choreography credits at Stoneham Theatre include My Fair Lady (IRNE Nomination 2010), The Dinosaur Musical, A Christmas Carol, Dear Miss Garland, Frog and Toad, and Guys on Ice. She also staged the ice skating scenes in Hockey Mom/Hockey Dad. Ilyse has been seen on stage at Stoneham Theatre as Mrs. Eynsford-Hill and as Joyce/Evie in The Sparrow, one of her favorite roles to date. Other choreography credits include HOPE Summer Repertory Theatre, The Hanover Theatre, Lyric Stage Co. of Boston (2001 and 2005 IRNEs - Best Choreography), New Rep (2001 IRNE - Best Choreography), Fiddlehead, Overture Productions, Jewish Theater of New England, ASF, BTW, Wheelock, Museum of Science, Publick (2001 IRNE - Best Choreography), Boston Women on Top, Liberty Mutual, Fidelity. Other regional stage credits include Lyric Stage Co. of Boston, New Rep, Fiddlehead, Hanover, Reagle Players, Publick Theatre, Jewish Theatre of New England, and Wheelock Family Theatre. Ilyse can be seen in numerous commercials and be heard as the narrator for several books on tape. She teaches at Brandeis University and Wheelock College - where she also directs the Summer Youth Intensive musical production. Ilyse holds a BS in Theater from Northwestern University and an Ed.M. from Harvard University.

Coming up next in Stoneham Theatre's Season 11:

Girls Night: The Musical
June 2-June 19, 2011
A touching and hilarious "tell-it-like-it-is" look at the lives of a group of female friends, Girls Night: The Musical promises to have audiences laughing, crying and dancing in the aisles! Follow five friends as they re-live their past, celebrate their present and look to the future on a wild and hilarious karaoke night out ... and you'll recognize every one of them! Carol who was born to party, blunt Anita who says it like it is, Liza and her "issues", boring Kate the great designated driver, and Sharon, the not-so-angelic angel, who just couldn't resist tagging along! Girls Night is bursting with energy and is packed with hits "Lady Marmalade," "It's Raining Men," "Man, I Feel Like a Woman," "I Will Survive," "We Are Family" and many more.

Sisters of Swing
June 30-July 24, 2011
Created by Ted Swindley; directed and choreographed by Bobby Cronin.
The best-selling musical in Stoneham Theatre history is back! Sisters of Swing tells the amazing story of sisters LaVerne, Maxene, and Patty. This musical tour of their lives, careers, and relationships include "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," "Apple Blossom Time," and countless other hits that lifted the morale of many a WWII GI.

Stoneham Theatre, a professionally producing regional theatre, is the only company founded within the past eleven years ranked by the Boston Business Journal among the area's ten most popular performing arts organization. It is consistently praised by critics and audiences for its superior caliber of production, its connection to the communities it serves and its comfortable atmosphere. Weylin Symes serves as Stoneham Theatre's Producing Artistic Director. Visit www.stonehamtheatre.org.

Stoneham Theatre is also home to the Atelier Gallery, a satellite gallery of the Griffin Museum of Photography, showcasing fine art photography. For more information on the exhibition schedule, log onto www.griffinmuseum.org/exhibitions_atelier.htm. The Atelier Gallery at Stoneham Theatre is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1-6 p.m., and one hour before each theater performance. The gallery can be accessed through the theatre's lobby; free and open to all.

 


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