'42 Street' wows at Goshen High School

Spring musical leaves a deep impression on audiences and actors alike

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  • Who doesn’t want to be “In the Money," a big dance number from “Pretty Lady,” the play-within-the-play.

  • Peggy Sawyer, new chorus girl, got fired after tripping the show’s leading lady. She tries to go back home to Allentown, but the rest of the cast convinces the producer Julian Marsh ( played by Matt Gomes) to rehire her to take over for Leading lady Dorothy Brock. Here the entire group celebrated Peggy’s ( Zoe Gronner) decision to give it a try.

  • Leading lady Dorothy Brock (played by Davgil David-Gil) gives encouragement to ingenue Peggy Sawyer (brought to life by Zoe Gronner), who replaced Brock after causing the accident that left Brock with a broken ankle.

  • Billy Lawlor (Nick Grundig) and Peggy Sawyer ( Zoe Gronner) lead the cast of “Pretty Lady” in a big production number.

  • The entire cast of “42nd Street” following their last performance.

  • Billy Lawlor ( played by Nick Grundig) welcomes Peggy Sawyer ( brought to life by Zoe Gronner) as the playwright Maggie Jones approves of the new addition to the chorus of “Pretty Lady”

  • Cast of “Pretty Lady” does another number with Davgil David-Gil playing Dorothy Brock, just before she breaks her ankle and has to be replaced by the new girl from Allentown, Peggy Sawyer.

  • The dancers trying out for the chorus of “Pretty Lady," the show-within-the-show of “42nd Street."

  • Nothing happens on stage without the hard work of the members of the stage crew. In a rare moment, they pose together following the last performance.

"You will find friendship in people you might have otherwise not even met.”
Gwen Aitchison

By Wendy Bynum-Wade

— If you were one of the 1,800-plus people lucky enough to have a ticket to see this year’s spring musical at Goshen High School, then you understand what a tradition of excellence really means.

Many schools present an annual high school musical production. In Goshen, the belief is that there is no such thing as a “high school” musical in Goshen. That tradition was started at GHS in 1960, when Paul E Wright took a multitude of singers and wannabe dancers and turned out Broadway level performances year after year. Now, 58 shows after that first presentation of “High Button Shoes” in 1960, the legacy lives on.

The 2018 spring musical at GHS was “42 Street,” produced by arrangement with Tams-Whitmark Music Library of New York, N.Y. The use of all songs was by arrangement with Warner Bros., the owner of music publishers’ rights.

Under the direction of Molly Lloyd, assisted by Hugh Mackay and Kristen Scully this year’s extravaganza of “42 Street” did not disappoint. From the choreography designed and painstakingly taught (over and over) by Ronda Barber, Veronica Nogrady, Ruth Hulbert and Ruthi Ciliberto, to the sets and lighting lovingly designed and constructed by perennial volunteers Joe Birdsall, Joe Fedor, Chris Tucci, Roy Reese, Brendan Folkl, John Cayton, Terry McBride and Nick Bechard. These are all adults who come back year after year, long after their own kids have graduated or their affiliation as a teacher or student at GHS has passed. Perhaps it is that consistency that carries the legacy from show to show and from decade to decade. The dedication and commitment from the students and adult advisors alike is almost palpable throughout the entire performance.

How do the students feel about the musical? Senior Nick Grundig (Billy Lawlor) felt it was “a great honor to have been cast in his role and that he really enjoyed being part of something bigger than himself.” Nick will be attending college in the fall in pursuit of a career in music education. How did the Goshen “musical experience” leave a lasting impression: for Nick, it showed him “a little hard work can go a very long way.”

Senior Zoe Gronner (Peggy Sawyer), thought that her four-year resume of GHS musicals gave her “an opportunity to work with people who may never again pursue a career in theater — they just love the joy of performing.” Zoe will be pursuing a career in acting; next stop is Marymount Manhattan College. Gronner cites the lessons of “how to be a leader and encourage others to have confidence in themselves” as being one of the many lessons she received on the GHS stage.

And how about the new kids on the block? Freshman Gwen Aitchison found her first experience in the spring musical to mean “being part of a new family. Everyone puts asides their differences to work on a common goal.” She also thought “you will find friendship in people you might have otherwise not even met.”

Senior Davgil David-Gil summed up the experience for the more than 100 students involved on stage or behind the scenes. “Being with other high school students and being able to put on a Broadway quality show amazes me every year. The musical has been my life for four years and it will always be a part of me!”

These shows have been sell-outs since the beginning. If you missed “42 Street,” put a note in your calendar for next February. That would be the time to order your tickets for next year’s show. Doesn’t matter which one it is or whether you know anyone in it. You’ll walk away with the knowledge that you’ve just experienced the best entertainment bargain you’ll ever and find you’ll have a chance to share the joy on that stage, earned by hundreds of hours over three months of preparation. You won’t be able to help yourself, it’s contagious!

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