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BWW Review: The Rev Theatre Company Presents 42ND STREET


The Rev Theatre Company (formerly known as Merry-go-round Playhouse) is once again open for the summer season.

BWW Review: The Rev Theatre Company Presents 42ND STREET
The stars "twinkle and shine" as Peggy (Jonalyn Saxer) takes center stage in the Rev Theatre Company's production of 42ND STREET, running June 30 - July 28 at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse.
Photo Credit: Ron Heerkens Jr.

The Rev Theatre Company (formerly known as Merry-go-round Playhouse) is once again open for the summer season. The Rev, just like many other theater companies all over the world, were unable to open during the 2020 season. They are officially back for the 2021 summer season and wowing audiences with their production of none other than the beloved classic musical comedy of 42nd Street under the superb and devoted direction and choreography of Brett Smock. Summer has officially begun now that The Rev has brought music, dancing, and pure carefree fun back to their loyal audiences.

42nd Street, of course, features all of those familiar toe-tapping musical numbers by Harry Warren and lyrics by Al Dubin along with the heartwarming book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble. The musical itself is a celebration to Broadway and the magic it brings to the performers and audience members alike. There is nothing better than theater performed live in front of an audience and this show celebrates the performers. In this case, the musical follows an aspiring chorus girl from Allentown, Pennsylvania named Peggy Sawyer (Jonalyn Saxer), who lands her first role in the ensemble of a dazzling up and coming new Broadway show. The star of the new Broadway show becomes injured. Is it the end of the chance to open a new show on the Great White Way? Or will a new ensemble member save the show with her dance, voice, and pure talent?

The Rev has once again brought the dazzle with their detailed set design by Jeffrey Kmiec, spot on lighting design by Jose Santiago, fabulous wig designs by Alfonso Annotto, and dazzling costumes coordinated by Tiffany Howard. The artistic elements are essential and bring the razzle dazzle to this beloved production. How audiences have missed those important details of lighting, wigs, costumes, and set pieces that bring the audience to this much needed escape of musical comedy.

The cast brings breathtaking performances with their powerful tap dancing and stellar vocals. They bring the house down with 14 showstopping musical numbers under the musical direction of Jeff Theiss leading a nine-member orchestra. The entire ensemble is spot on perfection in this superb and energetic production of 42ND Street.

Jonalyn Saxer as Peggy wows the minute she steps on stage. Saxer's wide-eyed expressions, passionate performance, and top-notch dance skills are spot on perfection for the role of Peggy Sawyer. Her spunky charm wows in "Go Into Your Dance" and her passionate vocals and killer stage presence dazzle in the title number alongside the rest of the ensemble.

Christopher Carl as Julian Marsh was last seen on The Rev's stage in their production of South Pacific as Emile De Beque. His gorgeous, powerful, and passionate voice is a welcomed return to The Rev as he delivers a chilling rendition of "Lullaby of Broadway." Carl's comedic timing and powerful stage presence make him ideal as Julian Marsh.

Soara-Joye Ross as Maggie dazzles with her spot-on comedic timing and showstopping vocals. Ross first brings the laughs with her rendition of "Shadow Waltz," charms in "Go Into Your Dance," and steals the spotlight in "Shuffle Off to Buffalo." Ross is a definite favorite in the production.

Cynthia Ferrer as Dorothy Brock is pure, confident comedic charm at its finest. Her commanding and passionate rendition of "About a Quarter to Nine," alongside Jonalyn Saxer, brings chills that only a live performance can bring.

There are many other standouts including Julio Rey's gorgeous vocals as Billy Lawlor. He steals the spotlight in numbers such as "Dames." Jane Papageorge, as Anytime Annie, wows in numbers such as "We're in The Money" and "Shuffle Off to Buffalo." Carlos Encinias as Bert Barry delivers a comedic performance in "Shuffle Off to Buffalo." Jenny Kay Hoffman as Phyllis and Aliah James as Loraine deliver memorable performances as they show off their dancing skills and vocal charm. Wesley J. Barnes shows off his effortless tap dance skills as Andy Lee. Erin Katzker as Mac once again showcases superb professionalism, spot on comedic timing, and spotlight stealing facial expressions. Katzker is always a treat to watch at the playhouse.

42nd Street is without a doubt a must see at The Rev Theatre Company in Auburn, New York. The treat to see a live performance, or to perform in one, is something that I think we will not take for granted again. Theater is essential and this production proves that. The heart, songs, dancing, and the powerful performances that the entire cast and production team bring to The Rev's production of 42nd Street is something that those who love live theater have missed so much. We welcome you back with open arms.

Running time: Approximately two hours and twenty minutes with one fifteen-minute intermission.

The Rev Theatre Company's production of 42nd Street runs from June 30, 2021 through July 28, 2021 in the Preston H. Thomas Theatre at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse located at Emerson Park in Auburn, New York. For tickets, click here.

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