Rehearsals recently started for the March 2-4 production of “Nice Work If You Can Get It” at Newark High School, 625 Peirson Ave.
“Nice Work If You Can Get It” premiered on Broadway in 2012, and features music by George and Ira Gershwin. Set in the 1920s, actors sing and tap dance their way through a comedic story of romance and rumrunning. Songs include “Someone to Watch Over Me”, “Fascinating Rhythm”, “But Not For Me” and “S’Wonderful.”
“I spend a lot of time with our team finding the best fit for our students each year,” said Emily Howard, director. “I was excited to find a musical that featured traditional music, but still has a modern feel. ‘Nice Work’ is a spruced-up version of a 1926 musical called ‘Oh, Kay!’
“In this version, the dialogue is snappier and many of the characters have been revamped. I especially love the female roles in this show. The main character, Billie, is a real woman running a business. Sure, it’s a bootlegging operation, but the show is set in the 1920s. I love tap dancing, and have been waiting to find the right show to get all of our actors tapping. This is it. I held open tap class for interested students starting in October, and it has been really wonderful to see them develop this skill. I’m excited to see what our end result will be.”
Kate Flock, NHS vocal music teacher, serves as vocal director for the show. Bob Humphrey, NHS instrumental teacher, is the orchestra director, and Mary Lou Bonnell is the piano accompanist. Howard also serves as choreographer and artistic director.
The cast features Carson Jordan as Jimmy Winter, Natalie Acquista as Jeannie Muldoon, Madison Chandler as Billie Bendix, Jaston Brooks as Cookie McGee, Ben Cepulo as Duke Mahoney, Nicholas Stalker as Sen. Max Evergreen, Megan Cauwels as Duchess Estonia Dulworth, Ryan Hermenet as Chief Barry, Lindsay Whiting as Eileen Evergreen and Anisha Stallworth as Millicent Winter.
Chorus girls include Isabella Bailey, Anna Bouwens, Kelsie Bushart, Liljen Draasch, Isabelle Figueroa, Jaidyn Fontanez-Orwen, Alena Freiberga, Cherylanne Garrett, Emma Healy, Lauren MacTaggart, Jadan Smith, Stallworth, Deborah Szarek, Medina VanDuyne and Emma Whiting.
Members of the vice squad include Arin Blaisdell, Liam Childs, Jack Comella, Isaiah Hall, Ashton Keene and Alex Sepulveda. The bubble girls and boys include Acquista, Bailey, Bushart, Childs, Freiberga, Garrett, Ashton Keene, MacTaggart, Szarek and VanDuyne.
Orchestra members include McKenna Briggs and Grace Kreuser on clarinet, Brendan Briggs and Mallory Williams on trumpet and Nick Cepulo on percussion.
Dave Howard is in charge of set design, and Linda Whiting is in charge of costumes. Amanda Williams and Kayla Williams are stage managers, Preston Precourt is the lighting board operator, Olivia Bailey is in charge of artwork design and Lauren Santino is in charge of cast, crew and orchestra headshots.
Deck, fly team, spotlight and sound crew members include Blake Aldrich, Phillip Collum, Liberty Faliveno, Rachel George, Heather LeBerth, Lauren Mays and Jacob Stalker.
The show will take place at 7:30 p.m. on March 2-3 and 2 p.m. on March 4. Tickets at the door cost $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Visit bit.ly/2D0nykI for information.