Davidson Community Players takes the stage June 19

DAVIDSON – The room was filled with the sounds of tap dancers June 9 as they practiced for the Davidson Community Players' upcoming production of “42nd Street.” From memorizing lines to learning the cues for tapping in unison, the more than 40 actors are working hard for their biggest show of the year.

Already, with more than 4,000 people expected to attend, Davidson Community Players Marketing Director Allison Wilhelm said they added a June 25 show.

“Some people only come for the musical, others come to all five shows,” Wilhelm said of the DCP season. “But I have people calling from Waxhaw, Raleigh, South Carolina, Winston-Salem – people are coming from all over the state to see the show. It’s great for the audience to have a Broadway-style musical put on by local talent.”

“42nd Street,” which began its Broadway run in 1980, centers around Peggy Sawyer, played by recent Mooresville High graduate Sierra Key. Sawyer is from a small town and dreams of going big as she joins the chorus line for the musical “Pretty Lady.”  Wilhelm said “42nd Street” shows the hard work that goes into putting on a show and the journey people take from starting at the bottom and working their way up.

“Peggy Sawyer is like me, I can relate to it a lot,” said Key, who has been performing with DCP since 2007. “I’m a girl from a small town and I want to move on to bigger and better things. I’m about to move to Boston from Mooresville, so I can relate.”

Key said this performance encompasses a lot of energy with more musical numbers and dance, plus is a fun story.

Director Melissa Ohlman-Roberge said of the more than a dozen summer productions she’s directed, this is one of the biggest dance shows.

“It appeals to everyone,” she said. “Little kids will understand the simple plot and for the older crowd, it’s a bit of nostalgia.”

Hit numbers include “You're Getting to Be a Habit with Me,” “Dames,” “We're In the Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” and “42nd Street.”

Performers in this year’s production range in age from 15 to 57 and come from Mooresville, Davidson, Huntersville, Cornelius and Charlotte, among others. All are volunteers wanting to be involved and many are returning from previous productions.  Hannah Roberge, 17, has participated in nearly all of the summer productions since she was 5.

Joining for his first summer show is Rixey Terry, a rising eighth-grader at Northwest School of the Arts. He’s wanted to join since he was 4 and joined this production because of all of the dancing. He was also chosen as the male dance captain.

“I love the opening sequence when the entire cast is on stage with the curtains rising and we are all dancing,” he said. “It’s so cool to be a part of that and feel the energy.”

This much dance hasn’t been incorporated since the production of “Crazy For You” two years ago when participants were given tap lessons. Because of that opportunity, more than 60 percent of these performers have tapped before. For this production, dancers have been meeting once a week since March to practice.

“It’s a community production,” said Wilhelm of why people should come. “But we want the audience to get the best show possible.”


Want to go?  The Davidson Community Players presents "42nd Street" for its summer musical. Performances take place at Duke Family Performance Hall on Davidson College Campus, 207 Faculty Drive, June 19-21 at 8 p.m.; June 22 at 2 p.m.; June 25-27 at 8 p.m and June 28 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for $24 each for adults, $22 for seniors ages 65 and older and $12 for students younger than 21. For more information, go to www.davidsoncommunityplayers.org.