The cast of Camelot Theatre's production of '42nd Street' will show their licks with big song and dance numbers. - Photo by Kayla Young

The quintessential Broadway musical

"42nd Street," the Christmas offering from Camelot Theatre Company, is a toe-tapping fan letter to all perky Broadway musicals and the folks who love them.

"There's nothing as cheerful as a musical," says Camelot Artistic Director Livia Genise, who directs the production. "Whatever is going on in my day, whatever stress, I walk into rehearsal and I start to smile."

"42nd Street" has all the classic musical-theater elements: the plucky chorus girl who gets her chance to perform in a lead role and becomes an instant star; an aging, competitive diva; and the dedicated but manipulative producer. It is filled with lavish production numbers, gorgeous costumes and lots of synchronized tap dancing.

It also features such hit songs as "Lullaby of Broadway," "You're Getting to Be a Habit With Me," "I Only Have Eyes for You," "We're In the Money" and the big finale, "42nd Street."

"Yes, we're doing the famous 20-minute dance sequence at the end of the show," Genise says. "How could we do this show without it?"

"42nd Street" will preview Thursday, Nov. 29, open Friday, Nov. 30, and run through Dec. 30 at Camelot Theatre, 101 Talent Ave., Talent. Curtain is at 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays. Preview tickets cost $12. All other tickets cost $25, $23 for seniors and students. Reserved seats are available for an additional $2 per ticket. There is a box office fee of $4 for all orders.

A performance to benefit the Philanthropic Educational Organization's Scholarships for Women will be presented at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28. Tickets cost $25.

A pay-what-you-can show will be presented Wednesday, Dec. 5.

The original "42nd Street" was a 1933 film by showman Busby Berkeley about producing a Broadway musical during the midst of the Depression. The film starred Ruby Keeler as the ingénue, with Dick Powell as the romantic lead and Ginger Rogers in the chorus.

In 1980, theater producer David Merrick turned "42nd Street" into an actual Broadway show. Written by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, with lyrics and music by Harry Warren, the show was directed by the award-winning choreographer Gower Champion. It ran for nine years and won many Tony Awards. A revival in 2001 ran for another four years and garnered more awards.

Camelot's production of "42nd Street" stars Sarah Gore as Peggy Sawyer.

"Sarah has acted in many Camelot productions," Genise says. "We never knew how well she could dance. We were just blown away when she auditioned."

Camelot veteran Linda Otto plays Dorothy Brock, the diva who starts out as a villain and finally becomes Peggy's mentor. Tyler Ward is Julian Marsh, the old-time producer who knows that this will be his last show and will stop at nothing to see it through. Galen Schloming stars as Billy Lawlor, the tenor in love with Peggy. They are joined by a cast of 15, including students from local middle schools, high schools and Southern Oregon University, along with Camelot regulars. A five-piece band will provide offstage accompaniment.

Choreography is by Rebecca K. Campbell, who also plays Maggie Jones.

"Rebecca has done an incredible job with this show and such a large cast. The production numbers are spectacular," Genise says.

Music direction is by Michael Wing; set design is by Roy Rains, Paul Flowers and Don Zastoupil; sound, audio and video design is by Brian O'Connor; and costume design is by Barbara Rains, with wigs by Virginia Carol Hudson.

Tickets and information are available online at www.camelottheatre.org or by calling 541-535-5250.

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