Geibel to re-present '42nd Street'
By Linda Harkcom
Published: Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, 12:36 a.m.
Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School is hoping audiences will want to come along and listen to the “Lullaby of Broadway” when it presents the musical “42nd Street” this spring.
“I have such a good, energetic dancing cast coming back,” said Nick Bell, director, producer and music director.
Bell said the cast was perfect for the show, but the school had done it in 2001. “I looked at several other musicals but I just kept coming back to ‘42nd Street,'” he said. “We are going to change things so it definitely won't be the same show that we did back then.”
Bell plans to hold auditions after Thanksgiving and start rehearsals after the cast is announced.
Senior Joanna Medofer, 17, of Brownsville said she is happy with Bell's choice.
“I was excited because it's upbeat but I didn't know much about it. After looking it up online, I realized I knew more songs than I thought,” Medofer said.
Medofer said after being in the past three high school shows, including the last two (“Phantom of the Opera” and “Les Miserables”) which were mostly singing, she is looking forward to possibly having dialogue in “42nd Street.”
The show will be choreographed by Geibel graduate John Wagner of Union City, N.J. Wagner, a professional actor, dancer, choreographer and director, has choreographed Geibel's past nine musicals.He said that he has never choreographed “42nd Street” before. He performed in the ensemble when West Virginia Public Theatre produced the show in 2004.
“I am looking forward to choreographing this show for several reasons. It is a heavy dance show that will be full of exciting and challenging choreography. Also, it is a show about performers which . . . is something I can personally connect with. I fell in love with this show when I had the chance to perform in it. It will always have a special place in my heart. My mom choreographed this show when Geibel first produced it, and for me to now have the same opportunity to choreograph it at the same school means the world to me,” Wagner said.
His mother was Christine Wagner, the former dance teacher, Connellsville Council member and former executive director of the Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce who passed away earlier this year after a long illness.
Because “42nd Street” has so much dancing in it, Wagner said he is hoping to have a few workshops with the students, especially in tap, before the auditions and rehearsals begin.
“However, I am amazed every year at the talent that is at Geibel and I am completely confident that I will have all the dancers I need to tackle this choreography,” he said.
Bell said the show will be performed March 14-16 at the State Theater Center for the Arts in Uniontown. Tickets will go on sale in January.
Linda Harkcom is a contributing writer.
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