Behind the Curtain of 42nd Street
On stage, the cast of 42nd Street look calm and collected, but backstage there is endless activity. Everyone is going around asking each other where their shoes are or what scene is next or who took their 'Dames' dress. Mostly the response to that is a strict "shush," from a nervous cast member or an annoyed crew person.
After months of long rehearsals many of the actors have not only learned so many talents and made many friends, they've also gotten many injuries due to hard work. They have blisters on their feet, bruises on their knees, splinters in their arms, and many headaches due to the stress from all their hard work. Regardless, the bumps and bruises are worth it for a good production.
What happens backstage can be very busy. Here are some fun facts of what really happens backstage.
- In the number, "Getting Out of Town," the girls have to dress quickly in order to make it to their next number, "Dames," where they have to get out of their street clothes and into fancy gowns quickly. In order to save time, many hide their dresses under their coat or street dress and several ladies stuff their suitcases with their hats, gloves, clips, and bobby pins.
- In "Shuffle Off to Buffalo," the train compartments are made of wood and give the girls numerous splinters. Many of the girls put blankets and pillows in their compartments so they are more comfortable (one of the girls almost fell asleep before her next number and had to be waken up by her friends).
- There was a small argument during "We’re In the Money." The cast has to tap dance on giant dimes and every one fought over which side they should dance on: heads or tails. They eventually settled on tails.
- The champagne in the bottle and in the glasses during the party scene is actually ginger ale.
- Charlie Eby, who plays Oscar the pianist, isn't really playing the piano. The piano is rigged so the keys don’t move when he pushes them.
- Everyone's "street clothes" were either bought at thrift stores or at places like The Salvation Army. The rest were sewn by many of the cast members during the snowstorm that hit us back in February. The sewers were later rewarded with chocolate bars.
- Many cast members are real dancers, but not all of them dance tap. Most of them do ballet, jazz and Irish dancing. Several are even on the drill team.
- Many of the sets were taken from the set of our previous show, Up the Down Staircase. Several cast members were saddened to take apart their old set and all the memories from it.
- Matt Barber wears a false mustache when he is playing Pat Denning so that no one will recognize him in the dance numbers later.
- Look for a special guest appearance during the show!
The cast and crew have worked so hard on this show and many who have seen it have claimed that is the best play Kenston has ever presented. We all hope to see you there!