AOS 42nd Street programme Spring 2014


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The programme for 42nd Street as performed in Abingdon April 2014

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Abingdon Operatic Society Amey Theatre, Abingdon School, OX14 1DE Mon 7 April - Sat 12 April 2014 This amateur production by arrangement with MusicScope and Stage Musicals Limited of New York


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Diane - Kerry Callaghan, Phyllis - Jane Digby, Lorraine - Cat Johnson, Ethel - Tara Hunter


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Abingdon Operatic Society PRESENTS Music by Harry Warren. Lyrics by Al Dubin Book by Michael Stewart & Mark Bramble Based on the Novel by Bradford Ropes Direction & Dance by Gower Champion Director - Jennifer Scott Musical Director - John Nye Choreographer - Gemma Hough THERE WILL BE AN INTERVAL OF TWENTY MINUTES BETWEEN THE ACTS PLEASE ENSURE THAT ALL MOBILE PHONES ARE SWITCHED OFF The use of all cameras, video and audio equipment is prohibited PLEASE NOTE THAT SMOKING IS NOT ALLOWED ANYWHERE ON ABINGDON SCHOOL PREMISES, INCLUDING ALL OUTSIDE AREAS For lost property enquiries please call 01235 526106 Refreshments are available in the foyer conservatory If you would like to become a member of AOS, please contact the Membership Secretary by emailing:


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Message from the Chairman ~ John Nye elcome to 42nd Street. Since it first hit the stage on Broadway in 1981, 42nd Street has run on Broadway, in the West End, or on tour almost continuously. It is with very great pleasure we welcome Jennifer Scott, our Director, and also Gemma Hough, our choreographer. Both are new to the Society and to Abingdon audiences, but I am confident that tonight you will agree that they have brought their talents and experience to bear to good effect. 42nd Street possesses a magic all of its own. If the formula for its popularity and success could be discovered, then it would have been repeated time and again. When 42nd Street opened, the audience was in raptures from the very first tapped steps of the company. No wonder it won the Tony for best musical. The combination of great songs, a heart-warming plot, and terrific dancing is a treat in store, as much for you, the audience, as it is for us, the company, bringing it to you. We are not resting on our laurels, and so in the next twelve months we intend presenting another two great shows, Sweet Charity and The Sound of Music. Now let us transport you to another country in a very different era as we defy you to resist the urge to tap your toes and hum along to the Lullaby of Broadway. Come and meet those dancing feet, on the avenue we’re taking you to, 42nd Street. W 2


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Director ~ Jennifer Scott A school teacher by profession, Jennifer was born in the North East of England and moved to the south (via Bristol) about 30 years ago. She was delighted to be asked to direct 42nd Street for AOS this year as this is one of her favourite shows and she (and hopefully the cast) have thoroughly enjoyed all the rehearsals. This is Jennifer’s first time directing for AOS and she has been thrilled with the enthusiasm and talent of this cast and the hard work they have put in during rehearsals. There has certainly been a buzz of excitement, as well as a lot of exhaustion. Originally a dancer herself (dancing since she was three years old), Jennifer has thoroughly enjoyed working with John (Musical Director) and is particularly pleased to be working with her daughter Gemma (choreographer) again as they have worked together on quite a lot of shows in the Maidenhead and Henley area over the past 15 years. She is proud to say the production team for this show has been superb and she is very grateful for all the help she has received from the backstage team, who have worked so hard to make this an unforgettable production. Jennifer has also appeared on stage over the years having played Adelaide (Guys and Dolls), Gladys (Pajama Game), Aunt Ella (Oklahoma!), Mrs Meers (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Widow Corney (Oliver!), Mavis (Stepping Out), Velma (Chicago) and Jacqueline (La Cage Aux Folles) to name but a few. As far as directing is concerned, her favourite shows have been Barnum, Singing in the Rain, Copacabana, Mack and Mabel, The King and I, Kiss Me Kate, Crazy For You and, of course, 42nd Street. 3


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Musical Director ~ John Nye ohn grew up in West London, and his musical education took place at the Royal College of Music. When singing, he has enjoyed opportunities to take roles as diverse as Zeus in Orpheus in the Underworld, Pilate in Bach's St. John Passion, and Rudolph Reisenweber, the head waiter, in Hello Dolly! This is his eighth AOS show as Musical Director, and his second trip down 42nd Street, though on the previous occasion he was tapping on the other side of the footlights. When not listening to or playing music, coaching rowing or refereeing rugby, he teaches and examines Mathematics. For relaxation, he enjoys running, and supporting Brentford Football Club. He is married to Katie who plays Maggie Jones in this production. They have three grown up children, all of whom have made substantial contributions on and off stage to AOS. J Choreographer ~ Gemma Hough emma graduated from Middlesex University in London, where she studied Performing Arts, majoring in Dance. She has choreographed many shows over the years, including Copacabana, 42nd Street, Crazy for You, Oliver!, Singing in the Rain, The Producers, Beauty and the Beast and La Cage Aux Folles to name but a few. This is Gemma’s first time choreographing for AOS and she has thoroughly enjoyed working with the friendly and enthusiastic cast and apologises to them for shouting and whipping them into shape! Gemma has also performed frequently on stage over the years, her most memorable roles being Kathy (Singing in the Rain), Peggy (42nd Street), Polly (Crazy for You), Millie (Thoroughly Modern Millie) and Lola (Copacabana). Professional credits include Jeeves and Wooster, Countdown to Murder, Soldier’s Wife and a series with Heston Blumenthal. Gemma also regularly performs with the ‘Dolly Mixtures’ a professional singing group which performs songs from the 1930’s to the 1960’s era. 4 G


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42nd Street ~ A Synopsis I t is 1933 and auditions for a fantastic, exciting new Broadway show are underway. Peggy Sawyer arrives in New York fresh off the bus from Allentown in provincial Pennsylvania. Almost immediately she is noticed by Billy Lawlor, who hopes to charm her into going on a date with him. Although she has missed the audition he tells her he can help her, despite the choreographer Andy Lee having no time for another chorus girl. Peggy is embarrassed and runs off, straight into the director Julian Marsh. Fading Broadway star Dorothy Brock is disgusted at being made to audition for a role. She is a prima donna and brings with her a lot of drama, but Julian decides to cast her in order to secure significant financial backing from her wealthy partner, Abner. The chorus girls take pity on Peggy and take her to lunch. They ask her to show them a routine, and Julian sees her and instantly falls in love with her, deciding there may still be room for an extra dancer. Later at a party, Julian discovers that Dorothy is cheating on Abner with an old flame and is worried about the future of the show. He decides to break up their relationship, hiring some thugs to threaten Dorothy’s old boyfriend. The whole cast head to Philadelphia for an out of town tryout, but on opening night Peggy falls into Dorothy and knocks her over. She is fired on the spot. The show’s fate lies in the balance as Dorothy’s ankle is broken. The chorus girls are convinced that Peggy could fill in the part and convince Julian to take her back. He sees sense and rushes to catch her before her train leaves. Peggy is distraught and wants to leave showbiz to go home to Allentown, but after ‘The Lullaby of Broadway’ she is won over. Peggy begins to learn the role quickly and Dorothy even starts to offer some advice, being friendly towards her. On opening night, Peggy is sent out a youngster but comes back a star, and her life changes forever. She chooses to go to the chorus party instead, leaving Julian alone on stage, with the dancing feet of ‘42nd Street’. National Operatic and Dramatic Association A bingdon Operatic Society is very proud to be a member of the National Operatic and Dramatic Association and you may notice a number of the members of our front-of-house team wearing their NODA long service medals tonight. NODA’s vision is that amateur theatre should be successful and sustainable, providing a range of opportunities for people to develop their skills and enjoy taking part, at all levels. They support the education and information needs of individuals and groups, contributing greatly to the continued success of amateur theatre in the UK. As usual, a NODA representative will be attending the show during this week and feeding back on the production with the helpful and much anticipated ‘NODA crit’ — a review of the performance and all aspects of the production. 5


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Q&A W hen did you first get involved in musical theatre and why? I can't remember a time when I didn't like music. Even at the age of four or five I had begun to learn the words of the popular songs of the day to add to my blossoming repertoire of nursery rhymes and similar stuff. The Jazz bands of Jack Payne, Ambrose, Henry Hall, Geraldo and others were all the rage at the time and I just loved t h e m all. And so, by about the age of nine or ten, I was Abner Dillon George Green asked to join the choir in the parish church in Market Harborough and I loved that too. I think I had a more or less acceptable voice as a treble, but at about fourteen disaster struck. My voice dropped about an octave and a half and I just hated it. I didn't sing solo again in public for the next thirty-something years. So what prompted you to join AOS? Well, in about 1972 I was asked to take the For the last twenty years AOS audiences have been taking George Green to their hearts whenever he’s appeared on stage. With a natural presence and an easy smile, George doesn’t so much act as inhabit a character. We asked him to tell us the secret.


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chairman's role in an Olde Tyme Music Hall for Cancer Research. When I asked "Why me?", I was told that as an auctioneer I would take to it readily and have no problem dealing with hecklers and the like. How wrong that was! I was terrified. Selling by auction is a complete doddle by comparison. However by the end of a run of about four nights I began to enjoy it and when it came to leading the community singing of such little ditties as ‘Down at the Old Bull and Bush’, ‘My Old Man Said Follow the Van’ and other vocal gems, I began to think that maybe I should resurrect my love of singing. I joined Wantage Operatic Society and was soon enjoying it all over again. Around that time I saw and admired several AOS shows and one day I was chatting to a well-known member backstage at one of the Music Halls in Wantage when he suggested I should come to join AOS. I took him up on it and can honestly say that I have never for one moment regretted it. Preparing for 42nd Street in recent months has been great fun, as it always is with AOS. This is a great society and I'm very grateful to be part of it Were you musical as a boy? Was I musical as a boy? Some would say I'm not musical now! It depends what you mean by ‘musical’. I can't play any instrument to a decent standard, but I like to think that I have an ear for music and can hang on to a tune. What is it about musical theatre that you enjoy? Musical theatre covers a very wide range, from ‘pop’ to ‘op’, but I suppose the essence of it for me is the extra dimension that music adds to the plot. Would Mimi's death in the fourth act of La Boheme bring a lump to my throat without the music? I doubt it. Would 42nd Street be as good without the music? Certainly not. What's the most enjoyable part you've played? Wow! That's a difficult one. Possibly Luther Billis in South Pacific with AOS. We had such fun with the ‘Honeybun’ number - even 7 if certain bits of the costume were somewhat less than comfortable! Is it a relief or a let-down when show week ends? The week after the show can seem a bit flat, but there is always the next one to look forward to and in any case you have time now to do all the things you should have been doing if you hadn't been spending so much time at rehearsals. What advice would you give to a first time performer? It would be a bit presumptuous of me to offer any advice to a first timer because he or she may well turn out to be a far better performer than I have been, but this much I will say - nobody can expect more from you than your very best. Give them that and you will both be happy. Oh, and don't give up the day job! And what’s next for you, George? I don't know - yet another retirement from showbiz, maybe? Let’s hope not, George. We’d all miss you!


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Principal Cast in order of appearance Andy Lee Mac Annie Maggie Jones Bert Barry Billy Lawlor Peggy Sawyer Phyllis Lorraine Diane Ethel Julian Marsh Dorothy Brock Abner Dillon Pat Denning Doctor James White Adrian Amstead Verity Ramsden Katie Nye John Wilkes Ryan Stevens Kate Wilkins Jane Digby Cat Johnson Kerry Callaghan Tara Hunter Rob Bertwistle Joy Skeels George Green David Cousin James Hellem Alice Aldous, Alastair Ballard-Martin, Kat Ballard-Martin, Simon Blainey Barbara Denton, Mark Denton, Jane Donovan, Dianne Farmiloe, Linda Harris Laura Hughes, Phil Hughes, Sarah Hunt, Eli Johnson, Jane Maggs, Sophie Moul Jo Pickering, Rob, Rees, Jon Ridley, Jenny Willis, Lynne Winter, Nigel Winter Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone Clarinet, Saxophone Clarinet, Saxophone Bass Clarinet, Saxophone Horn Trumpet Trumpet Trombone Trombone Bass Percussion Piano, Celeste Guitar, Banjo Ben Gilkes Charlie Baker Ian Adlington Hannah Brierley Joel Thomas Ingrid Turner Luke Scott Rob Cooper Huw James Malcolm Gunningham Graeme Hollingdale Chris Fletcher-Campbell Huw Morgan Paul Owen 8


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Musical Numbers New York City & Philadelphia, 1933 Scene 1 ~ 42nd Street Theatre, New York Opening Andy & Company Young and Healthy Billy & Peggy Shadow Waltz Maggie Shadow Waltz (reprise) Dorothy & Company Scene 2 ~ The Gypsy Tea Kettle Go Into Your Dance Maggie, Peggy, Annie, Phyllis, Lorraine & Andy Scene 3 ~ 42nd Street Theatre, New York You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me Dorothy, Billy & Company Scene 4 ~ Dorothy Brock’s Dressing Room Scene 5 ~ 42nd Street Theatre, New York Getting Out of Town The Company Scene 6 ~ Arch Street Theatre, Philadelphia Dames Billy & Company Scene 7 ~ The Regency Hotel I Know Now Dorothy Scene 8 ~ Arch Street Theatre, Philadelphia We’re In The Money The Company Act I Finale Dorothy & Company Scene 1 ~ Outside the Arch Street Theatre Scene 2 ~ Arch Street Theatre, Dressing Rooms There’s a Sunny Side Annie & Company Scene 3 ~ Outside the Arch Street Theatre Scene 4 ~ Broad Street Station, Philadelphia Lullaby of Broadway Julian & Company Scene 5 ~ 42nd Street Theatre, New York Rehearsal Montage Julian, Peggy & Company Scene 6 ~ Peggy Sawyer’s Dressing Room About a Quarter to Nine Dorothy & Peggy Scene 7 ~ Opening Night, 42nd Street Theatre Shuffle Off to Buffalo Bert, Annie & Company 42nd Street Peggy & Company Scene 8 ~ On Stage, immediately following the performance Finale Julian TWENTY MINUTE INTERVAL 9


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Peggy Sawyer ~ Kate Wilkins Kate read English and French at St Peter’s College, Oxford and moved back to the city in 2011. She was weaned on musicals by her grandma, who took her to see 42nd Street when she was seven. As a member of the National Youth Music Theatre, Kate performed in several productions, playing everything from Joan of Arc to a wannabe vampire in a rock musical! University theatre included Iolanthe (Iolanthe), Carousel (Nettie) and The Threepenny Opera (chorus) at the Oxford Playhouse. More recently, she played Rita in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Sharon in A Slice of Saturday Night and Daisy in Daisy Pulls It Off. This is Kate’s first production with AOS. She hopes it’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship! Billie Lawlor ~ Ryan Stevens Ryan has performed on stage locally over many years, mainly in the Maidenhead area. He has played leading roles in numerous productions including The Scarlet Pimpernel, Jekyll and Hyde, Pippin, Singing in the Rain, Copacabana, Crazy for You, 42nd Street, Anything Goes and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Ryan also made his major directorial debut in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast a couple of years ago. Professional appearances include Sesame Street Live, Legoland Windsor and Disneyland Resort Paris. This is his first appearance with AOS and he has certainly enjoyed the experience with such a friendly society. 10


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Dorothy Brock ~ Joy Skeels In over 30 years performing on the amateur stage, this is Joy’s first time in 42nd Street. Dorothy Brock is the 36th leading role that Joy has played in those years. Her favourite five roles are Calamity (Calamity Jane), Eliza Doolittle (My Fair Lady), Sally Brown (Me & My Girl), Polly Baker (Crazy For You) and Dorothy in 42nd Street. Joy says that rehearsals for this show have been particular fun, as there aren’t many parts where you can get away with being a stroppy, over-the-hill diva the whole time. And almost as soon as the curtain falls on 42nd Street this week, Joy will start directing AOS’s next production, Sweet Charity. No rest for the wicked! Julian Marsh ~ Rob Bertwistle At last! Rob has finally got the chance to play Julian Marsh. Since auditioning for the part in 1999 with AOS, Rob had almost given up hope of ever playing this delicious role. It’s a lovely part. He gets to boss lots of people around and do some mushy stuff too; what could be better? The last time you may have seen Rob was as Fagin in Oliver! with AOS. Recently, he was a chorus member in the acclaimed Oxford Operatic Society production of Sweeney Todd. Rob hopes you will enjoy the story of triumph over the odds in this timeless, classic 1930’s American musical. He would like to add it’s been wonderful working with the talented Jennifer and Gemma, as director and choreographer respectively. 11


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Maggie Jones ~ Katie Nye Katie has made many appearances on stage for AOS over the course of 19 years, most recently as Ernestina Money in Hello, Dolly! and before that as Erma in Anything Goes. Elsewhere, she has appeared in musicals, plays and reviews including the title role in Daisy Pulls It Off. As well as all this, she has directed for AOS, her favourite production being My Fair Lady in 2008. As further relaxation from her professional life, she is learning to play the harp, and exercises her “green fingers” in the garden, the latter having nothing to do with another of her memorable roles for the Society, as the Wicked Witch of the West. This is her second visit to 42nd Street, having previously played Gladys, although this time she has hung up her tap shoes. Bert Barry ~ John Wilkes John has never been a “Bert” before now. He’s been a Don and a Giuseppe in The Gondoliers; a Zeller in The Sound of Music (“Good fun playing the baddie” he says); a Fish Slice in Beauty and the Beast (“Often mistaken for a Cake Slice,” he says “but there are subtle differences”); the King in Pirates of Penzance (“One’s just rewards”); an Evelyn in Anything Goes (“A simply topping part!”), along with many others over the years. And of course he’s been a right Charlie for most of his life, a character which seems to come naturally… 12


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Andy Lee ~ James White James is excited to be returning to AOS after a short break. He previously played the ethnically-confused Indian, Pete, in Calamity Jane and an age-confused Dodger in Oliver! This time round James is happy to be playing the straightforward role of dance director Andy, despite James never having tapdanced before. There is a definite correlation between James and the character Andy, mostly bossy with a brief pause for drunkenness in the middle. James is an avid film fan and actually wrote a large part of his final year dissertation on 42nd Street and the fantastic musicals of Busby Berkeley, so is doubly pleased to now be in this show! Anytime Annie ~ Verity Ramsden This is Verity’s third show with AOS, having appeared in Oliver! and The Gondoliers last year. Previously, she has played Yum-Yum (The Mikado), Gianetta and Giulia (The Gondoliers), Princess Ida and Lady Psyche (Princess Ida), Nekaya (Utopia Ltd), Leila (Iolanthe), and Constance (The Sorcerer) with Oxbridge Opera Company, Oxford University Gilbert & Sullivan Society, and Kennington Choirs. Non-G&S roles include Cathy (The Last 5 Years), Dulcie (The Boyfriend), Prince Arthur (Shakespeare’s King John), Grace Farrell (Annie) and Carrie (Carousel). When not singing or dancing, Verity works as a trainee surveyor for Lambert Smith Hampton and collects vintage clothing, many items of which you’ll see on stage tonight! 13



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