The Rev Theater Company (formerly known as the Merry-go-round Playhouse) is open again for the summer season. The Rev, like many other theater companies around the world, were unable to open their doors during the 2020 season. They are officially back for the 2021 summer season and wow audiences with their production of none other than the beloved classic musical 42nd street under the superb and dedicated direction and choreography of Brett Blouse. Summer has officially started now that The Rev has brought music, dancing, and sheer carefree fun back to its loyal following.
42sd Street, of course, features all those familiar Harry musical numbers Warren and lyrics by Al Dubin with Michael’s Heartwarming Book Stewart and Marc Bramble. The musical itself is a celebration of Broadway and the magic it brings to performers and audience members. There is nothing better than theater performed live in front of an audience and this show celebrates the performers. In this case, the musical follows an aspiring backing vocalist from Allentown, Pa. Named Peggy Sawyer (Jonalyn Saxer), who landed his first role in the set of a dazzling new and upcoming show on Broadway. The star of the new Broadway show is injured. Is this the end of the chance to open a new show on the Great White Way? Or will a new member of the ensemble save the show with their dancing, vocals and pure talent?
The Rev once again dazzled with its detailed set design by Jeffrey Kmiec, lighting design by Jose Santiago, fabulous wig designs by Alfonso Annotto and dazzling costumes coordinated by Tiffany Howard. Artistic elements are essential and bring the dazzling to this beloved production. How audiences missed those important details of lighting, wigs, costumes, and sets that bring audiences to this much-needed escape from the musical.
The cast brings breathtaking performances with their powerful tap dancing and stellar vocals. They bring the house down with 14 mind-blowing musical numbers under the musical direction of Jeff Theiss conducts a nine-member orchestra. The whole is to perfection in this superb and energetic production of 42ND Street.
Jonalyn Saxer as Peggy impresses the minute she takes the stage. Saxer’s wide-eyed expressions, passionate performances, and top-notch dance skills are perfect for the role of Peggy Sawyer. Her daring charm impresses in “Go Into Your Dance” and her passionate voice and dazzling stage presence dazzles in the track number alongside the rest of the ensemble.
Christopher Carl as Julian Marsh was last seen on stage at The Rev in their production of South Pacific like Emile De Bèque. His gorgeous, powerful and passionate voice is a welcome return to The Rev as he delivers a chilling rendition of “Lullaby of Broadway”. Carl’s comedic timing and powerful stage presence make him ideal as Julian Marsh.
Soara–Joye Ross as Maggie dazzles with his comedic timing and stunning voice. Ross first gets people laughing with his portrayal of “Shadow Waltz”, charms in “Go Into Your Dance” and steals the show in “Shuffle Off to Buffalo”. Ross is definitely a production favorite.
Cynthia Ferrer as Dorothy Brock is pure, confident comedic charm at its best. His imposing and passionate interpretation of “About a Quarter to Nine”, alongside Jonalyn Saxer, brings thrills that only a live performance can bring.
There are many more noteworthy, including Julio Rey’s magnificent voice as Billy. Lawlor. It steals the show in numbers such as “Ladies”. Jeanne Papageorge, like Anytime Annie, impresses with numbers like “We’re in the Money” and “Shuffle Off to Buffalo”. Carlos Encinias as Bert Barry provides a comedic performance in “Shuffle Off to Buffalo”. Jenny Kay Hoffman as Phyllis and Aliah James as Loraine deliver memorable performances showing off their dancing skills and vocal charm. Wesley J. Barnes shows off his effortless tap dancing skills as Andy Lee. Erin Katzker as Mac once again exhibits excellent professionalism, precise comedic timing, and highlights theft of facial expressions. Katzker is always a treat to watch in the theater.
42sd street is without a doubt a must-see at The Rev Theater Company in Auburn, New York. The thrill of seeing a performance live, or playing in one, is something that I think we will no longer take for granted. The theater is essential and this production proves it. The heart, songs, dancing and powerful performances that the entire cast and production crew bring to the production of The Rev of 42sd street is something those who love live theater have missed so much. We welcome you with open arms.
Duration: About two hours and twenty minutes with a fifteen minute intermission.
The Rev Theater Company’s production of 42sd street takes place from June 30, 2021 to July 28, 2021 at the Preston H. Thomas Theater at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse located at Emerson Park in Auburn, New York. For tickets, click here.