CHCA Theatre Department presented ’42nd Street’ in their Lindner Theater

By Tammy Rosenfeldt

SYCAMORE TWP. OH (March 18, 2022)Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy’s (CHCA) Theatre Department presented 42nd Street March 10th – 13th in CHCA’s Lindner Theater. 

This classic story was directed by Susan Jung, Director of Theatre, with Technical Direction by Jim Jung, Stage Management by senior Liam Vanderwoude, and Choreography by Maria Huey and Susan Jung.

One of theatre’s most classic and beloved tales, 42nd Street tells the story of Peggy Sawyer, a talented young performer with stars in her eyes who gets her big break on Broadway. Peggy arrives in New York City from her hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania, armed with her tap shoes, her lucky yellow scarf, and big dreams. Peggy’s talent catches the eye of legendary Broadway director Julian Marsh, who gives her a spot in the chorus of Pretty Lady, his newest show. Pretty Lady stars Dorothy Brock, the classic Broadway diva, who takes an instant dislike to the new girl in the cast. When Dorothy is injured during the show’s preview, Pretty Lady looks like it will have to close, unless a new girl talented enough to lead the show can be found — someone like Peggy Sawyer!

In her playbill notes, Director Susan Jung shared, “I love creating art. I relish the moments when I get to be super creative and dig deep into three dimensional stories and characters that uncover hidden meanings. I don’t shy away from dealing with tough subjects or stories that can rip your heart to shreds. I believe we need that kind of art to help us remember our humanity. But I don’t think that’s what our community needs right now. We need catchy tunes that you hum as you leave the theater. We need 40 high school students tapping their hearts out. We need heartwarming stories about a girl who wants to make her mark and doesn’t stab anyone in the back to do that. We need a beautiful, fun, and energetic story that just makes us feel good.”

A beautiful, fun, and energetic story is exactly what was delivered. As a show goer, you knew you were in for a treat from the moment the curtain lifted.  For revealed was the entire ensemble tapping to the show’s opening number! From simple yet beautiful set pieces, to multiple quick costume changes, the fast-moving show was a success.

Scene from’42nd Street’ presented by CHCA March 10-13 (Photo Dan Ledbetter)

Senior Grace Goodwin was a joy to watch in the role of Peggy Sawyer. She owned the stage with her beautiful voice and exceptional dance skills. Playing the role of diva Dorothy Brock, senior Bella Randle also wowed the audience with her outstanding vocals and fun stage presence. Sophomore Tobi Aina commanded the audience with his portrayal of director Julian Marsh, while senior Matthew Rebhun was fun and charming as Billy Lawlor, with his impressive talent.

Bringing a lot of humor and delight to the stage were seniors Sophie Rempe (Maggie Jones) and Marcus Daley (Abner Dillion), and sophomore Noah McRedmond (Bert Barry). These three talented actors had perfect comedic timing throughout the entire show. Sophomore Clete Reinberger was charming as Pat Denning. Juniors Reese Clary and Carley Millette were also exceptional as Mac and Andy Lee, respectively.

Leading the impressive dancing were sophomores Abby Fancett, Madelynn Glenn, and Natalie Hudepohl. Not only were their dancing skills outstanding, but they brought much delight and character to their roles and to the show overall.

After a year of missing a live orchestra pit, it was pure joy to feature these talented musicians back in person. Listening to CHCA Music Director Dr. Dan Grantham conduct CHCA Upper School students in the pit is aways so impressive. Many audience members remarked how wonderful it was to hear them live again and were amazed at the talent.

CHCA Fine Arts Director Mona Summers says it was a job well done by all involved. 

“Everyone on stage, behind the scenes, and in the pit did an outstanding job. Bravo on an amazing show,” exclaimed Summers. “Our talented actors, from the leads to the ensemble, brought the musical to life on stage while the pit orchestra provided the beautiful music to support them, and the student production team kept it all running smoothly. Thank you to our remarkable directors for their vision and all our volunteers who carried out their vision so wonderfully.”

*The show is one of seven theatrical productions at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy this year. Mark your calendars now to see these remaining Upper School productions: Academy Night Live (April 22-23), and The One Act (May 10).