Norwin Theatre Club offers its take on 42nd Street

| Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Norwin Theatre Club plans to bring a taste of Broadway to the high school with its production of “42nd Street.”

The show runs March 14 to 17 and features a cast and crew of about 90 students. It tells the story of the auditioning and rehearsal process for “Pretty Lady,” a fictional Broadway production, set in 1933, and the drama leading up to its opening night through song and dance.

Co-director Lauren McCurdy said the story takes begins as the “Pretty Lady” star, Dorothy Brock, played by Emily Welsh, injures her ankle and is replaced by a young actress, Peggy Sawyer, played by Stephanie Smrekar.

“It's really a show within a show,” McCurdy said. “They almost end up canceling the show but end up working through it, which really makes up our show.”

The club began working on the play in August with McCurdy and co-director and choreographer Erin Shrader with tap-dance lessons, and auditions began in December. They began rehearsals during the students' winter break, McCurdy said.

“It takes a lot of organization and planning, but our students are really invested in this entire process,” McCurdy said. “It's so exciting to see this coming all together.”

Smrekar, a senior, said she has dreamed of being a lead in one of the school's musicals since she was a little girl. She said she is honored to be a part of the club's production of a Broadway classic.

She described it as an entertaining play.

“I just really love the show,” Smrekar said. “It's a really big change from past shows, where we did lesser-known musicals.

“It's really fun to take on a show that's been out there and is so well known.”

Dustin Pealstrom, a senior who plays “Pretty Lady” director Julian Marsh, said the show is punctuated with a lot of high-energy choreography. Although he doesn't do a lot of dancing, Pealstrom said, the choreography helps bring the show together.

Smrekar, whose character dances throughout the entire show, said it was a challenge to get used to doing a lot of dancing.

“I haven't taken a dance class since I was young,” she said. “But I love every minute of it, dancing, and I'm glad I was able to get used to it.

“I'm just very excited for the show.”

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or

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