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Geibel to present '42nd Street' at State Theatre in Uniontown

| Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 2:06 a.m.
Lori C. Padilla | for the Daily Courier
Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School performed a preview of its spring musical for the Highlands Hospital Auxiliary. '42nd Street' follows young Broadway actors as they move through the ranks of the chorus and starring roles. Jonah Delmar as Billy Lawlor tries to get Gabrielle Omatick as Peggy Sawyer to go out with him.
Lori C. Padilla | for the Daily Courier
Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School's spring musical, '42nd Street,' follows aspiring actors and actresses as they try to make it big on Broadway. Members of the cast presented a preview of the show to the Highlands Hospital Auxiliary. Cast members (from left) Matthew Emerson, Mario Ruggieri, Haley Thomas and Liz Camile belt out 'There's a Sunny Side to Every Situation,' explaining there's always a bright side. The production will be performed March 14, 15 and 16 at the State Theatre Center for the Arts in Uniontown.
Linda Harkcom | for the Daily Courier
Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School musical’s choreographer John Wagner (left) puts members of the cast through their paces in preparation for “42nd Street,” which opens this weekend at the State Theatre Center for the Arts in Uniontown. Show times are 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at the box office or by calling the theater at 724-439-1360. Tickets also will be available at the door.

The sounds of tapping from the dancing feet of Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School's production of “42nd Street” will fill the air at the State Theatre Center for the Arts in Uniontown this weekend.

Nick Bell, director, producer and music director, and his cast will present the show at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Bell said he feels the audience will love the incredibly talented and energetic cast.

“They have so much fun performing the show, and I believe that will make it fun for the audience as well,” he said.

The musical is about a naïve young actress named Peggy Sawyer played by Gabrielle Omatick. Sawyer blows her audition for a role in the chorus of a new Broadway musical, but luck is on her side when she soon catches the eye of the famous director, Julian Marsh, and he gives Sawyer her big break.

The show's aging leading lady, Dorothy Brock, played by Joanna Medofer, quickly grows to dislike Sawyer. On opening night, Brock falls and breaks her ankle. Panic spreads through the company, as the show is doomed for closure until it is suggested Sawyer take the role. In 36 hours, she learns the show and becomes a star.

“I love every scene. There is truly not a scene I can pick over the others. If forced to pick, I would say ‘Lullaby of Broadway,' because the full cast is on stage singing and dancing their hearts out,” Bell said.

Bell said the biggest challenge to the show was the numerous dance numbers.

“Thankfully I have the best choreographer in the entire country in John Wagner. He has done amazing things with our kids,” Bell said.

Omatick, 17, of Connellsville describes her character as a young tapping dame trying to follow her Broadway dreams.

“I've liked playing Peggy Sawyer most because she is a bit of an inspiration to me. Yes, she's spacey sometimes, but she's also a girl that did what all of us are terrified to do: She followed her dreams. She has encouraged me to believe in myself and taught me that anything is possible,” Omatick said.

Omatick said her biggest challenge has been learning all of her lines.

“I've never had a part this big and I've never really even had lines at all,” she said.

Omatick thinks the audiences will be entertained because of all of the tapping, singing, acting and dancing.

“There's never a dull moment. It's a performance you won't want to miss,” she said.

Medofer, 17, of Brownsville said her character, Dorothy Brock, is sassy and confident, but she can't dance.

“I enjoy her confidence even when clearly faced with failure. The biggest challenge of this role is having to be a diva,” she said.

She said her favorite scene is “Quarter to Nine” “because Dorothy finds peace with Peggy and herself.”

Bell said the entire cast has really stepped up to make this production happen. “They have done a fantastic job. They come to rehearsals focused and ready to work. They want to continue the great reputation that we have for doing musicals at Geibel,” Bell said.

Tickets for the show are $10 each. All seats are reserved. They can be purchased at the State Theatre box office or by calling the theater at 724-439-1360. Tickets also can be purchased at the door each night of the performance.

Linda Harkcom is a contributing writer.

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