Moonlight Stage Celebrates 42nd Season with the Production "42nd Street"

A Bright and Tap-Filled Extravaganza that Should Not Be Missed 

A Blog View by Alejandra Enciso-Dardashti 

The Cast of 42nd Street, Photo Karli Cadel

This year has been a great one for the classics all around San Diego and it is wonderful that companies rescue these productions that have not been staged in years and bring them not only to the new generations but also to people who did not have the opportunity to catch the original or a later iteration.

Moonlight Stage's production of 42nd Street the Musical, celebrating its 42nd season, was an absolute delight. A story that opens a window into Broadway at the beginning of the 1930s with its hair, outfits, and politics while staging the next great big hit Pretty Lady. Specifying that audiences are paying up to four dollars and forty cents per ticket and the talent is making $32 dollars a week, the visionary and strict producer Julian Marsh (Patrick Cummings) knows the vision but the road to get there is a tad bumpy as one of his main sponsors Abner Dillon (Greg Nicholas) insists on having his life's leading lady Dorothy Brock (Tracy Lore) also lead the stage. The creatives Maggie (Bets Malone) and Bert (Jamie Torcellini) are confident while Cummings is stressed. After the casting is done, Peggy Sawyer, a young and very talented performer arrives late to audition. She has no stage experience but a lot of spirit. If things are getting complicated, Peggy's addition to the mix makes things even more interesting.

DJ Gray assumed the titanic task of choreographing and directing, gifting the audience a tap-rich extravaganza that left everyone in awe. Gray's vision and attention to detail were evident throughout the performance, creating a visually stunning and energetically captivating experience. Another aspect I appreciated about Gray, was the space created for each performer to shine and imprint their own flare to the staging and showing how they enjoy performing and performing with each other. E.Y Washington as the young choreographer Andy Lee showed the responsibility needed to command such a huge troupe but also the feeling needed to do it and Lee embraced all those aspects wonderfully.

Ellie Barrett Harvey as Annie, Jamie Torcellini as Bert Berry. Photo Karli Cadel

Emma Nossal, whose portrayal of the innocent yet incredibly talented Peggy Sawyer was nothing short of phenomenal. Nossal's tap skills are fast and impeccable, showcasing her expertise and leaving the audience mesmerized. Her chemistry with Patrick Cummings, as the serious and moody Broadway producer Julian Marsh, was palpable and added depth to their on-stage interactions.

The lighting design by Ryan Marsh further enhanced the production, creating a dynamic atmosphere and highlighting the performers' talents. Marsh's use of lighting effects brought the stage to life, accentuating the intricate choreography and adding to the overall theatricality of the show. Similarly, Jim Zadai's crisp sound design ensured that every note and dialogue was crystal clear, enhancing the immersion of the performance.

Torcellini's comedic timing and stage presence were on point, bringing laughter and joy to the audience. Additionally, his impressive dance moves added another layer of entertainment, showcasing his versatility as a performer and making a great duo with Bets Malone who proved once again her experience and mastery of the stage.

Moonlight Stage's production of 42nd Street was a triumph. The cast also includes Alyssa Anne Austin, Eric Badique, Adam Blanchard, Drew Bradford, Jake Bradford, Johnisa Breault, Anissa Briggs, Emily Dauwalder, Wes Damerson, Deborah Fauerbach, Shannon Gerrity, Colby Hamann, Jamaelya, Karina Johnson, Fisher Kaake, Zoë Marín-Larson, Katie Marshall, Marisa Moenho, Ryan Perry Marks, Trevor Rex, Holly Robertson, Samantha Roper, Noelle Roth, Grace Simmons, Anthony Vacio, And Taylor Ward. As well as swings Shelby Monson and Andy Ben Reynolds.

The combination of choreography, standout performances, and comedy, created a memorable theatrical experience. It was a fitting celebration of Moonlight Stage's 42nd season. A must-see that is currently playing until September 2. For more information please click HERE

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