‘42nd Street’ heads to Kings Highway

Haddonfield High School Drama Club prepares for March performance

If you go:

Haddonfield Memorial High School presents ‘42nd Street’

Performance Dates: March 10, March 11, March 17 and March 18 at 7:30 p.m. and March 12 at 2 p.m. Location: Haddonfield Memorial High School Auditorium

Tickets: Evening Performances: $10 per person; March 12 Performace: $7 per person, $25 for 4 tickets. All tickets will be sold at the door.

The Haddonfield Memorial High School Drama Club is preparing to perform the classic Broadway musical “42nd Street.

“‘42nd Street’ is one of my favorite musicals,” said Matthew DiDonato, the director of musical theater at Haddonfield Memorial High School. “I chose it because it has an engaging underdog story, high-energy dance numbers and great opportunities for both principal characters and ensemble members. It is a feel-good show that will uplift and entertain.”

The musical, which is an adaptation of a novel, was first performed in 1933. Although the period it takes place in happened a long time ago, the cast and crew have put a lot of effort transforming the high school auditorium into a place that makes you feel as if a person is back in the early 20th century.

“This show has bigger songs, bigger dances, bigger sets and bigger costumes than anything we have ever done before here at Haddonfield,” DiDonato stated. “Our work on ‘42nd Street’ began in July when we started tap workshops and rehearsals. In September and October, the HMHS Drama Club was busy with its fantastically artistic production of ‘The Odyssey,’ and then in November, we resumed tap rehearsals. Since auditions in December, we have been rehearsing 20 hours per week. In addition to the acting, dancing and singing, we also have tremendous time commitments from the crew with all of the technical components of the show.

“I know that audiences will see our show and forget they are in a high school auditorium. The students and staff have been working incredibly hard to present a very high-quality show. One example of this is the production number, ‘We’re In The Money,’ which will feature 21 costumes made entirely from scratch by our talented costumer, Mrs. Cheryl Dempsey.”

“It is really different,” student director Kelly Steltz said. “This is my second year of being the student director of the Drama Club, so it is a little bittersweet that it is my last show here. It is the biggest show that we have done so far, so I am really proud to be part of this production. The cast has such good vibes. It has truly become quite a family throughout this production, especially taking on such a big show. They have been working on this since July.”

For Steltz and other seniors, this will be the last production they will be a part of at Haddonfield. The Drama Club has been an important part of their high school careers.

“It has been a huge learning experience in terms of commitment and what it means to be a team and what it means to be dedicated to something,” Steltz added. “Working with the Drama Club showed home much you can work toward the outcome of something if you care, and I cared a lot.”

Joanna Moles, who plays the role of Dorothy Burke, is looking forward to performing in the musical.

“It’s crazy because it is my senior show and I have been in every single musical in high school leading up to this, and this is definitely the biggest one that we’ve done,” Moles said. “It is an incredible feeling to be a part of this to even be in the rehearsals and see the scenes that I’m not in and see how much hard work people are putting in and how amazing the product is. I keep telling my parents that I am so excited for them to see this. It is incredible.”

JT Tully is reprising the role of Billy Lawlor. As a member of the Tap Dancing Club, “42nd Street” is a musical that will allow him to showcase his dance skills.

“Billy is a young Broadway star, kind of like the Jeremy Jordan of today,” Tully stated. “He sees Peggy Sawyer walk into the studio and he falls in love with her instantly. During the entire show, he is going after her. It is a struggle about him wanting the attention and falling in love with Peggy. He is always seeking attention and very aware that he is talented. Throughout the show, he is showing off his talent while also trying to show his love for Peggy.”

The Haddonfield production of “42nd Street” takes place March 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. and March 12 at 2 p.m. at Haddonfield Memorial High School auditorium. Evening performances cost $10 per person or $25 for four tickets. The matinee performance on March 12 costs $7 per person. All tickets will be sold at the door.

DiDonato sums up the whole play perfectly.

“‘42nd Street’ is about hard work, talent and being in the right place at the right time. In a story where a bright-eyed girl from a small town moves to the city to pursue her Broadway dreams, we cannot help but root for the underdog.”