Wheeling Jesuit Students Will Bring to Life the Musical 42nd Street

Wheeling Jesuit University will bring to life one of Broadway’s most beloved tales, 42nd Street. This quintessential song and dance fable of Broadway will be performed April 6-9 in Troy Theater.

WJU’s spring musical production takes center stage at 8 p.m. April 6-8, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, April 9. No reservations are necessary.

“I am amazed with the many hours these students have been devoting to learning to tap dance for the choreography for this production. They really seem to enjoy the challenge despite the time commitment. I’m sure their time and hard work will not go unnoticed by the audience come opening night,” said Dave Henderson, coordinator of Performing Arts at WJU.

Based on a novel by Bradford Ropes and Busby Berkeley’s 1933 movie, 42nd Street tells the story of a starry-eyed young dancer named Peggy Sawyer, who leaves her Allentown home and comes to New York to audition for the new Broadway musical Pretty Lady.

Peggy’s talent catches the eye of legendary Broadway director Julian Marsh, who gives her a spot in the chorus of Pretty Lady, his newest show. Pretty Lady stars Dorothy Brock, the classic Broadway diva, who takes an instant dislike to the new girl in the cast. When Dorothy is injured during the show’s previews, Pretty Lady looks like it will have to close, unless a new girl talented enough to lead the show can be found — someone like Peggy Sawyer!

Peggy’s rise from showgirl to star is the stuff of show business dreams. 42nd Street is full of crowd-pleasing tap dances, popular musical theatre standards, and show-stopping ensemble production numbers.

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The performance features such well know songs as “we’re in the Money,” “Dames,” “Lullaby of Broadway” and “42nd Street.”

Making up the student cast are:


Dorothy Brock: Samantha Herrington
Peggy Sawyer: Halli Richards
Maggie Jones: Rebecca Rodgers
Ann Reilly (Anytime Annie): Katy Munhall
Julian Marsh: Stephen Hansknecht
Bert Barry: Matt Martin
Billy Lawlor: Nate Foster
Abner Dillon: Pierce Griffith
Pat Denning: Justin (Ki) Ryder
Mac: Mackenzie Shepard
Andy Lee: Dona’e Albert
Phyllis Dale: Amber Byrd
Lorraine Flemming: Haleigh Poch
Diane Lorimer: Felicity Nolder
Gladys: Bernadette Tirador
Ethel: Anne Frankovitch

Making up the Chorus are: Emily Slack, Maxi Hirsh, Miranda Pugurwag and Shallen Plum

Members of WJU’s Cast of 42nd Street prepare for performances set for April 6-8. From left are: Matthew Martin, Becca Rodgers, Sam Herrington, Halli Richards, Nate Foster and Stephen Hansknecht

In addition to Henderson, others who are working on the production include: Musical Director, Robert Troeger, WJU’s director of vocal music; Choreography: Cheryl Pompeo of Oglebay Institute School of Dance; Musical Assistant: Anthony Panabianco, WJU’s coordinator of instrumental music & university bands; Technical Director: George Bell; Sound: Mike Battista and Stages of Wheeling will provide the costumes.

For more information about any of the performances, call 304-243-2095 or visit Wheeling Jesuit University performing arts on Facebook.