June 26, 2014

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

PSST! Season In Full Swing With Opening of 42nd Street

VALDOSTA — The curtain will rise on Peach State Summer Theatre’s production of “42nd Street” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 27, celebrating the start of a dance-heavy, 11-performance run of the Broadway classic on Valdosta State University’s Sawyer Theatre stage. Tickets are on sale now.

Based on the novel by Bradford Ropes and the 1933 film adaptation, “42nd Street” revolves around the efforts of noted and notorious Great White Way Director Julian Marsh to mount a successful musical extravaganza stage production at the height of the Great Depression.

According to an online synopsis (http://www.stageagent.com/Shows/view/833), the musical “tells the story of a humble, naïve young actress named Peggy Sawyer who has come to audition for a new Broadway musical. Unfortunately, due to her nervousness, Peggy arrives to the audition late and misses her chance to join the chorus. Luckily, Peggy soon catches the eye of the famous director Julian Marsh, and he gives Peggy her big break. However, the show’s aging leading lady, Dorothy Brock, quickly grows to dislike Peggy.

“On opening night, Ms. Brock falls and breaks her ankle. Panic spreads through the company, as the show is doomed for closure, until it is suggested that Peggy take the role. In only 36 hours, Peggy learns 25 pages, six songs, and 10 dance numbers and becomes a star.”    

Featuring a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, lyrics by Al Dubin, and, of course, music by Harry Warren, “42nd Street” first opened at New York City’s Winter Garden Theater on Aug. 25, 1980. It later moved to the Majestic Theater and then to the St. James Theater, closing after 3,486 performances. That run was followed by a production in London’s West End in 1984, a Broadway revival in 2001, and tours in the United Kingdom and Asia. The original Broadway production won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Costume Design, a Theatre World Award, and a Tony Award for Best Choreography, while the original London production won an Evening Standard Award for Best Musical and a Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical. The Broadway revival won a Tony Award for both Best Revival of a Musical and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical.

Individual tickets for all Peach State Summer Theatre productions are $25 for adults and $20 for children, students, and senior citizens, plus a $1.50 processing fee and sale tax. The Box Office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays and can be reached by calling (229) 259-7770.

Peach State Summer Theatre, or PSST!, is Valdosta’s premiere professional summer stock theatre. Each summer, dozens of singers, dancers, technicians, managers, and creators gather on the Valdosta State University campus for 10 weeks, during which time they rehearse, build, and present three musicals in rotating repertory.

The 2014 Peach State Summer Theatre season marks the 25th year of VSU producing professional theatre for the city of Valdosta, the state of Georgia, and beyond. From 1990 to 2004, VSU produced the Jekyll Island Musical Theatre Festival. In 2005, the summer theatre program was relocated to the university and renamed PSST!

The Georgia Legislature designated Valdosta State’s summer stock theatre program the Official Musical Theatre of the State of Georgia.

VSU’s Jacque Wheeler serves as the artistic director of Peach State Summer Theatre. H. Duke Guthrie is the managing director.

The 2014 Peach State Summer Theatre season kicked off on June 6 with the opening of “Mary Poppins,” followed by the opening of “Smokey Joe’s Café” on June 20. “42nd Street” rounds out the 2014 PSST! lineup, and the three shows will be presented in rotating repertory through the weekend of July 26-27 in Sawyer Theatre, which is located on the first floor of VSU’s Fine Arts Building, at the corner of Oak Street and Brookwood Drive.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/psst to learn more.

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