The spring musical cast tap their way to “42nd Street.”

BY MATTHEW DORON, ’23 AND ANTONIA CAMPBELL, ’22. PHOTO BY BELLA VANMETER, ’22.

The sound of tap shoes echoes through the UAHS Performing Arts Center from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day after school. The students wearing these tap shoes are the cast members of “42nd Street,” the UA Vocal Music Department’s latest winter musical. 

“42nd Street” follows the tumultuous rehearsal process of a musical called “Pretty Lady,” making the show a musical within a musical, with students cast in the roles of directors and chorus performers.

Senior Reva Baste-Bania, who portrays a waiter and is a featured dancer, said that the show, being about
a musical, puts great emphasis on its choreography.

“We have a lot of songs to learn, especially the featured dancers, and it’s lot of tap [dancing],” Baste-Bania said.

The show’s dance captain, junior Alana Sayat, who also plays the character Lorraine, said that the show’s choreography was difficult for the large cast to learn.

“Before [the] audition weekend started, they had been doing these tap workshops to help people learn the dance audition choreography because tap is a whole other beast compared to jazz or ballet,” she said. “You’re making sound that you need to be aware of, and for people who have never put on a pair of tap shoes, it’s a little difficult.”

Sayat said her duties as dance captain consist of memorizing all the choreography so she can teach others.

“When choreography is being learned, I learn all of it, even if it’s not something I specifically do, so that I am able to help others who might struggle a little bit more with it or need some help just really understanding it and learning it,” Sayat said.

Freshman featured dancer Logan Magliery also said that the choreography has proven to be the most challenging yet rewarding aspect of rehearsals.

“Learning how to dance, specifically to tap dance, it’s a lot harder than you might think,” she said. “I never really danced before this, so it’s been a pretty cool new experience.”

Since freshmen make up a significant portion of the cast, the musical also serves as a way for students to connect across grade levels.

“I feel like I probably wouldn’t have met a lot of upperclassmen without doing it,” Magliery said. “It’s a way to have a common interest.”  

In addition to the large cast, “42nd Street” boasts a well-staffed tech crew. Head carpenter junior Taylor Speas said that the new high school provides more set design opportunities than the previous building.

“We have more room which is really nice, so we don’t hit things. There are many occasions in other years when we accidentally broke things because we ran into the wall,” he said. “It’s a new stage. It’s going to be fun, brand-new; it’s exciting.”

Junior Nathan Adams, the assistant lighting director and system lightboard operator, emphasized that “42nd Street” is the first musical performed in the new high school.

“I’m excited for people to see the new school and the new auditorium. I think it’ll feel really nice to have a new show, which we have every year, but a new show in a new space,” he said.

Sayat said she is excited to show the months-long work of the cast and crew.

“What I’m most excited about is getting to perform,” Sayat said. “It’s a really exhilarating rush when you’re standing in front of an audience and you’re just doing something that you have been working so hard on for so long.”

“42nd Street” will be performed at the UAHS Performing Arts Center Feb. 24 through Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. and on Feb. 27 at 2:30 p.m.