Toe-Tapping Good Time: Theatre at the Center's '42nd Street' promises lavish musical staging

2012-09-07T00:00:00Z 2012-09-08T01:24:15Z Toe-Tapping Good Time: Theatre at the Center's '42nd Street' promises lavish musical stagingBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

Chicago actress Paula Scrofano says she's always loved performing in productions at Theatre at the Center in Munster.

A Jeff Award and Sara Siddons Award-winner, she's been the female lead in a number of Theatre at the Center productions, playing "Mamma Rose" in "Gypsy" (2003), "Dolly Levi" in "Hello, Dolly" (2007), and most recently, heiress Muriel Eubanks in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," staged in September 2010.

But there's still one plum role Scrofano had yet to play on the Munster stage; that is, until this month.

She's making a return to the high-stepping heels of Dorothy Brock, the diva in "42nd Street," one of the most famous Depression-era tap dancing musicals of Broadway.

"l played this same character in 2009 at the Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania," Scrofano said.

"But playing her in Munster is something extra special."

During the musical's run Sept. 13 to Oct. 21, Scrofano said she's excited to be reunited with and working alongside two of her favorite men of the theater.

Theatre at the Center Artistic Director William Pullinsi is directing this production of "42nd Street," and actor Larry Adams is playing the male lead, Broadway director Julian Marsh.

"I have Bill Pullinsi to thank for so much, because during my first 10 years in theater, I worked for him on many shows while he was the artistic director at Candlelight Playhouse, which no longer exists," Scrofano said.

As for Adams, he last worked opposite Scrofano when he was cast as the funny French playboy Andre Thibault in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" at Theatre at the Center in 2010.

The winner of the 1980 Tony Award for Best New Musical and the 2001 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, "42nd Street" will rank as "the biggest production to ever be presented on Theatre at the Center's stage," according to Pullinsi.

Based on the classic 1933 Busby Berkeley movie musical of the same name, "42nd Street" is one of the longest running productions in Broadway history, having played for a staggering nine years, for a total of 3,486 performances.

With a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, music by three-time Academy Award-winning composer Harry Warren and lyrics by Al Dubin, "42nd Street" features the memorable score of "show-stopping" numbers like "We're in the Money," "You're Getting to be a Habit With Me," "Lullaby of Broadway," plus the show's title song.

This production is choreographed by Linda Fortunato.

It's the story of a starry-eyed young actress named Peggy Sawyer, played by Nicole Miller, who leaves her hometown with hopes of making it big on Broadway. New York's most brilliant director is preparing the big show, "Pretty Lady," as the country is in the depths of the Great Depression, and he is faced with obstacles like an aging leading lady who is jealous of new talent.

The cast also features funny Dale Benson as Abner Dillon, with 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, Steven Spanopoulos as Andy Lee and ensemble members Rebecca Bradford, Johnson Vaughn Brock, Chris Carter, Amanda Lauren Compton, Mike Danovich, Brian M. Duncan, Allyson J. Graves, Kim Green and Michael Reckling.

The musical direction and orchestrations are by William Underwood and Scenic Designer Jack Magaw is promising a fantastic glittery set to match the wardrobe created by Costume Designer Brenda Winstead.

"It's a fun show filled with songs to make audiences feel carefree and entertained," Scrofano said.

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