Musical to premiere at GallawayBy Cokie Thompson | 04/13/2015 10:17pm
The University of Alabama Theatre Department will present "42nd Street." CW | Danielle Parker
Due to the amount of work a musical requires, the UA theater department only produces one per year. In past years, these shows have included “Show Boat” and “Urinetown.” This year, UATD will present "42nd Street."
“It's been a long and difficult road but extremely rewarding,” said Stacy Alley, assistant professor of musical theater and dance and the show's director. “Musicals in general usually require a longer rehearsal period, but this one required even more.”
Last week, students, faculty and staff working on "42nd Street" traveled to Mobile, Alabama, to perform at the Mobile Civic Center. This week, they return home to perform the show in Gallaway.
Daniel Velasquez, a junior majoring in musical theater, plays Billy Lawlor, an actor in the 1930s who is cast in “Pretty Lady,” the play-within-a-play of "42nd Street."
“Theatre has taught me the value of hard work,” Velasquez said. “We rehearse these shows tirelessly and put a lot of ourselves in them.”
Velasquez got his start in theater in high school, after a friend asked him to audition. He said it was somewhat of a random event. Since then, Velasquez has grown as an actor in the University of Alabama theatre and dance department. He said this show in particular has been an interesting experience.
“Shows like 42nd Street that are set in a different time can teach you about what it would be like to live in that time,” said Velasquez. “People act, speak and think so differently than they do now.”
Alley has directed and choreographed the show several times before in her time at The University of Alabama.
“I think this show needs someone who both directs and choreographs so as to keep the overall integrity of the show,” she said.
Along with that, Alley said the cast and crew have shown incredible tenacity throughout the difficult process of putting on the show.
“I've learned that both I and the cast can tackle whatever we set our minds and bodies to,” Alley said. “It has truly been a labor of love for me.”
She said her greatest challenge has been putting together a musical of this scale. The technical requirements and 40 cast members have kept her busy throughout the process, especially making sure everyone is happy and healthy.
“We've had several challenges throughout our journey, but we've made it through to the other side,” Alley said. “I definitely think all of the hard work has been worth it.”
For more information, visit theatre.ua.edu or call the box office at 348-3400. The show runs April 14 to April 19 in the Marian Gallaway Theatre. Tickets are $14 for students, $17 for faculty, staff and seniors, and $20 for other adults.