September 22, 2018
School & Youth
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  • During rehearsals for “42nd Street,” kids learn dances and practice singing both in groups and individually.
    Photo Provided
    During rehearsals for “42nd Street,” kids learn dances and practice singing both in groups and individually.
  • During rehearsals for “42nd Street,” kids learn dances and practice singing both in groups and individually.
    Photo Provided
    During rehearsals for “42nd Street,” kids learn dances and practice singing both in groups and individually.

Talented Children Star In Upcoming Musical “42nd Street”

Kerrigan Stern
Kerrigan Stern's picture
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June 27, 2018

The iconic number 42 is not just Jackie Robinson’s number and the name of a hit song by Coldplay, but it is also the name of a road in the acclaimed musical making its way to Annapolis this summer, “42nd Street.” Moreover, 42 is the number of young, talented children ages 7-14 who will perform in the show at St. John’s College Key Auditorium this July.

The children’s rendition of “42nd Street,” put on by Talent Machine Company and directed by Malarie Zeeks, follows the performance career of Peggy Sawyer in New York City. Peggy, with her eyes on Broadway, auditions for a show organized by the legendary Broadway director Julian Marsh soon after arriving in the Big Apple.

“I play Julian Marsh and he’s basically like this legendary director and has done tons of other Broadway shows, and everybody's so excited to do it because all of his shows are amazing,” said rising high school freshman Henry Wright. “Everyone knows a Julian Marsh show is different from any other show.”

Although Marsh is talented and successful, Wright describes him as a man with a personality completely different from his own.

“He’s this very stern and serious guy. He barely even smiles,” said Wright. “He’s always serious. He’s very confident. He’s never iffy with his answers. He knows what he wants to do and he knows he’s going to do it.”

One girl, however, has the ability to change his temperament.

“That all changes when he meets Peggy Sawyer, who’s this new dancer and is apparently a really good dancer,” Wright explained. “It’s her first show and she’s only been in the chorus line, and Dorothy Brock, at the time, is the lead. … [During] the first act, she breaks her foot because of Peggy, and [Marsh] has no choice but to give Peggy the lead and have her go through the whole show and make sure she knows everything for the next couple shows. So she basically gets the lead and changes him in a way because her personality really breaks him out of his shell, shows him that he can be more than just some serious, stuck-up business guy.”

While Wright plays one of the major roles, other local children have been given the opportunity to showcase their talents to the community. This includes 11-year-old Kate Roberts, who just finished fifth grade at Jones Elementary, and 7-year-old Delainey Quinn Parker, who is home-schooled. Both young ladies are in the ensemble and perform dance and song numbers together during the show.

“During the rehearsals, we learn … the dances and practice [them] over and over. For vocals, we separate into groups based on how we can sing, like what notes, and then we practice it by ourselves and then all together,” said Roberts.

And these girls work hard during their rehearsals.

“[Rehearsals] are every weekend. Sometimes they’re [about] six hours long,” said Parker.

But it has all been worth it for these three entertainers. Even though they have all performed in shows prior to this one, they will never forget this experience.

“I love theater. I plan on doing a lot of stuff at the high school and I’ll probably do some more summer stuff,” said Wright. “I see a lot of this in my future, hopefully.”

Roberts said, “This is a very fun show, and I feel like it’d be great to do other shows in the future with Talent Machine. Even though it’d be different from this, I still feel like it’d be a really fun experience.”

Parker, who’s watched several of Talent Machine’s shows in the past, plans on continuing her performances in the future as well so that one day, she can be front and center.

“I really want to be so good at it that I can be one of the lead roles,” she said.

Performances of “42nd Street” will be held July 13-15 and July 19-22. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.talentmachine.com.


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