42nd Street (3)
Time: October 19, 2001Place: Pleasanton PlayhouseRole: Bert BarryDirector: Todd Aragon
Third time’s a charm, etc., etc. So after 10 years, Pleasanton Playhouse decided to do 42nd Street for a third time. I had my fall open so I knew I’d be auditioning. Since it was a tap show, I figured I should brush up on my tapping. I enlisted the help of Shawnel from SS Dance Express to teach me everything that I’d forgotten over the years–which was, as I stated, everthing.
I was really hoping to land the role of Billy Lawler (Romantic Lead), but was open to Bert Barry (Character Lead). The roles are similar, except one is charming and the other is goofy. After years of goofiness, I was hoping to be charming. But alas, they must have found me goofy and I was thus cast as Bert Barry.
Rehearsals went fine, though I was still rehearsing and performing in Carousel at the time. No matter. What didn’t kill me would only make me stronger…or wear me out to the point where I wished I was dead. Either way, I was in the show.
It has been 10 years since the first 42nd Street and that fateful casting of being the ‘Piano Mime’. Times had changed. There were 5 of us from the original show: Sherry, Shawnel, Sonya, Todd and myself. Where all the others went? I have no idea. Maybe their tap shoes wore out over the years. Mine were still good. I had had the same pair for over 10 years. They were like family to me.
Performances went smoothly. No wild happenings to speak of. We partied a few times, but it was nowhere near the level of the first 42nd Streets. I wasn’t asked to substitute for any hungover actors who couldn’t do a leap across the stage without vommiting. No car crashes kept people from performing either. We didn’t play any drinking games where we’d learn way more than we’d ever want to know about the hidden pasts of other actors.
However, it was a fun run. I gained something from doing the role, made a few new friends, got better at tapping. Sure, it was difficult at times not to reminisce too much on the past. After all, the first 42nd Street was my first show at the Playhouse. And that pretty much began my musical theatre career.