Theatre at the Center’s ‘42nd Street’
By Don Snider September 12, 2012 4:48PM
The cast of Theatre at the Center's "42nd Street" includes Larry Adams (from left), Dale Benson, Paula Scrofano and Nicole Miller. | Michael Brosilow photo
◆ Through Oct. 21, with shows at
8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays,
2:30 p.m. Sundays, 2 p.m.
Wednesdays and Thursdays, select Thursday evenings and select Saturday matinees
◆ Theatre at the Center,
1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Ind.
◆ Tickets, $38 to $42
◆ (219) 836-3255;
Updated: October 15, 2012 9:18AM
The show “42nd Street” has been called the very definition of the archetypical musical.
Premiering as a movie at the height of the Depression in 1933 and then turned into a hit Broadway show in 1980, “42nd Street” is the original backstage musical theater story that became a model for countless productions.
Despite being almost 80 years old, “42nd Street” is timeless.
The show still has great dancing and singing and a story with charm, wit and memorable characters.
The audience is taken through a stage show from auditions to rehearsals to opening night during “42nd Street.”
The production runs through Oct. 21 at Theatre at the Center in Munster, Ind.
Director Bill Pullinsi heads the biggest production on Theatre at the Center’s acclaimed combination of proscenium and thrust stage.
In the leading role of Julian Marsh is Larry Adams, one of the most frequent and popular actors in Theatre at the Center’s 22-year history.
Among his leading roles have been Captain von Trapp in “The Sound of Music,” Georges in “La Cage aux Folles” and the title character in Maury Yeston’s “Phantom.”
After appearing in many Theatre at the Center shows in 2009 and 2010, the Chicago native who was born and raised in the city’s Logan Square community, broke away to appear in off-Broadway, Broadway and touring productions, mostly notably “The Phantom of the Opera.”
“It’s all about picking roles that are just right for me in a given year,” Adams said. “I’ve always wanted to do the Julian Marsh role from ‘42nd Street.’ ”
Adams is as versatile as any local actor.
Julian Marsh in this show is an iconic character.
He’s a down-on-his luck director who also lost money in the stock market. He’s hoping to make it back with one big show called “Pretty Lady.”
At his investors’ insistence, he has cast aging leading lady Dorothy Brock.
But Brock breaks her ankle just 36 hours before opening night.
At the cast’s urging, Marsh promotes an unknown and untested chorus girl fresh to New York from Allentown, Pa. She’s Peggy Sawyer.
To calm her nerves, Marsh gives her an opening-night pep talk almost straight out of a Knute Rockne football locker-room speech.
Considered one of the great lines in Broadway show history, Marsh pumps his fists and tells Sawyer: “You’re going out there a youngster, but you’ve got to come back a star.”
Portraying Peggy Sawyer is Nicole Miller, who has performed in numerous Theatre at the Center shows. But, like Peggy Sawyer, this will be Miller’s biggest role yet.
“This is a great opportunity for her,” Adams said.
“I think she’s great and perfect for the role of the everyman or the underdog who is the right person at the right time.”
Playing Dorothy Brock will be Paula Scrofano, a multiple Jeff Award winner who has been called the “first lady of the Chicago musical stage.”
The musical “42nd Street” also features the ever-popular Dale Benson as Abner Dillon, Nathan Mittleman as Billy Lawlor, David Besky as Pat Denning, Amy Brophy as Maggie Jones, Tom Moore as Bert Barry, Cara Salerno as Lorraine, Jenny Guse as Ann Reilly, Amy Orman as Phyllis and Steven Spanopoulus as Andy Lee.
Linda Fortunato is the choreographer and William Underwood is the musical director.
The music includes such classic songs as “We’re in the Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway” and, of course, “42nd Street.”
The play remains one of the longest running shows in Broadway history.
And Pullinsi said he is determined to make it one of best shows ever on Munster’s Ridge Road.
Don Snider is a local freelance writer.