Classic ’42nd Street’ coming to Tempe stage

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By M.V. Moorhead

Some directors, speaking to an inexperienced young actress just before she goes on in a lead role for the first time, might say something like, “Hey, go out there and have fun, you’ll be fine.” But director Julian Marsh takes a different approach in his pre-show pep talk to understudy Peggy Sawyer:

You’ve got to go on, and you have to give and give and give. They’ve got to like you; they’ve got to. Do you understand? You can’t fall down, you can’t, because your future’s in it, my future and everything all of us have is staked on you.

“All right, now I’m through. But you keep your feet on the ground, and your head on those shoulders of yours and go out, and Sawyer, you’re going out a youngster, but you’ve got to come back a star.

These are the relaxing words that Marsh (Warner Baxter) delivers to Peggy (Ruby Keeler) in the classic 1933 movie musical 42nd Street.

But they probably feel just as relevant in real life to actress Karylin Veres. The recent ASU grad and Tempe resident is playing the role of Peggy in the Scottsdale Musical Theater Company stage version of 42nd Street opening Friday, July 6 at Tempe Center for the Arts.

“Rehearsals have been going great,” says the Tucson native. “I haven’t had a chance to work with Debby Boone or Charles Shaughnessy yet, but I’m really looking forward to it.”

Shaughnessy, a veteran British actor probably best known as the male lead on the long-running sitcom The Nanny, plays the director in the SMTC production, so it’s from him that Veres will receive the famous big speech.

“I can’t wait,” she says.

Debby Boone, best known for her ‘70s-era hit “You Light Up My Life,” plays the role of Dorothy Brock, played by Bebe Daniels in the film. Another Broadway veteran in the cast is Eloise Kropp, in the role of “Anytime Annie” (Ginger Rogers in the movie). Kropp gets great reviews from her castmate Veres.

The SMTC 42nd Street marks an exciting leap forward for Veres, a graduate of Tucson’s Canyon del Oro High School who chose ASU for college over her hometown’s U of A.

“Partially it was the scholarship,” admits Veres, of the choice. “I had an award for academics in high school. And then in my time at ASU I got a talent scholarship for my work there.”

But the scholarship wasn’t the only reason for the choice of ASU. Veres also liked the school’s larger and more ambitious theater programs.

“I was really able to try my hand at a little bit of everything,” she notes. Roles Veres played at ASU included musical leads like Maria in West Side Story and Eliza in My Fair Lady, as well as a turn in Shakespeare, as the villainous, scheming Tamora in Titus Andronicus.

After wrapping up 42nd Street, Veres plans to leave the Valley.

“In August, I’m going to move to Chicago to try to further my career,” she says. “It’s time to move onward and upward. Much as I love Arizona.”

42nd Street plays from July 6 to 15 at Tempe Center for the Arts. Tickets range from $38 to $58. Go to tempecenterforthearts.com for details and tickets.

 

 

Some directors, speaking to an inexperienced young actress just before she goes on in a lead role for the first time, might say something like, “Hey, go out there and have fun, you’ll be fine.” But director Julian Marsh takes a different approach in his pre-show pep talk to understudy Peggy Sawyer:

You’ve got to go on, and you have to give and give and give. They’ve got to like you; they’ve got to. Do you understand? You can’t fall down, you can’t, because your future’s in it, my future and everything all of us have is staked on you.

“All right, now I’m through. But you keep your feet on the ground, and your head on those shoulders of yours and go out, and Sawyer, you’re going out a youngster, but you’ve got to come back a star.

These are the relaxing words that Marsh (Warner Baxter) delivers to Peggy (Ruby Keeler) in the classic 1933 movie musical 42nd Street.

But they probably feel just as relevant in real life to actress Karylin Veres. The recent ASU grad and Tempe resident is playing the role of Peggy in the Scottsdale Musical Theater Company stage version of 42nd Street opening Friday, July 6 at Tempe Center for the Arts.

“Rehearsals have been going great,” says the Tucson native. “I haven’t had a chance to work with Debby Boone or Charles Shaughnessy yet, but I’m really looking forward to it.”

Shaughnessy, a veteran British actor probably best known as the male lead on the long-running sitcom The Nanny, plays the director in the SMTC production, so it’s from him that Veres will receive the famous big speech.

“I can’t wait,” she says.

Debby Boone, best known for her ‘70s-era hit “You Light Up My Life,” plays the role of Dorothy Brock, played by Bebe Daniels in the film. Another Broadway veteran in the cast is Eloise Kropp, in the role of “Anytime Annie” (Ginger Rogers in the movie). Kropp gets great reviews from her castmate Veres.

The SMTC 42nd Street marks an exciting leap forward for Veres, a graduate of Tucson’s Canyon del Oro High School who chose ASU for college over her hometown’s U of A.

“Partially it was the scholarship,” admits Veres, of the choice. “I had an award for academics in high school. And then in my time at ASU I got a talent scholarship for my work there.”

But the scholarship wasn’t the only reason for the choice of ASU. Veres also liked the school’s larger and more ambitious theater programs.

“I was really able to try my hand at a little bit of everything,” she notes. Roles Veres played at ASU included musical leads like Maria in West Side Story and Eliza in My Fair Lady, as well as a turn in Shakespeare, as the villainous, scheming Tamora in Titus Andronicus.

After wrapping up 42nd Street, Veres plans to leave the Valley.

“In August, I’m going to move to Chicago to try to further my career,” she says. “It’s time to move onward and upward. Much as I love Arizona.”

42nd Street plays from July 6 to 15 at Tempe Center for the Arts. Tickets range from $38 to $58. Go to tempecenterforthearts.com for details and tickets.

 

 

 

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