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Bulldogs ready to tap their feet down ‘42nd Street'

April 25, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE

Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Ninety Calexico High School dancin' Bulldogs will sing and tap through the long-running Broadway musical "42nd Street" this weekend.

The premiere performance is at 7 p.m. Friday in Varner Gym on the Calexico High School campus, according to the musical's director and Calexico High instructor Dennis Pond.

There will be a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Saturday. The show will close with a 7 p.m. Saturday performance.

Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for high schoolers and younger and $3 for seniors. Tickets are available at the door.


Every year the high school's music, arts and dance department team to put on a play, Pond said.

In past years performances have included "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat" and "Grease."

This year, Pond, his co-director Carol Nero and their fellow instructors chose to stage the song-and-dance spectacle of "42nd Street."

"In 1980 ‘42nd Street' ushered in the new age of theatrical spectacle with a cast of 54, 750 costumes and dozens of stage effects. The making of ‘42nd Street' and its unforgettable opening at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway on Aug. 25, 1980, created one of the most memorable theatrical events of the 20th century," according to the Web site

While that gushing synopsis may sound like standard industry hyperbole, the musical racked up a number of Tony Awards when it was first staged in the 1980s and in 2001 it won a Tony for "Best Musical Revival."

The large cast gave Pond a chance to find spots for each and every Calexico High student who wanted to be in the play.

That inclusive feature of the show was one of the reasons Pond chose the play over a similar "backstage Broadway" tale such as "A Chorus Line," which has fewer parts. Plus, "42nd Street" is less racy than "Line" or modern Broadway favorites such as "Contact," "Chicago" and "Fosse."

Pond said the cast has worked on the dance moves for months. He said it has been gratifying to watch the kids progress.

"They're learning to tap dance, finding out that they can actually do that, finding out their feet can move that fast," he said.

During the show, they'll be dancing to the piano stylings of Pond's son, Sam Pond.

All costumes for the show have been hand-crafted by the performers and Calexico High instructors.

Pond recommends getting to the show early to find a seat because if just two parents for each child show up, the crowd will be close to 200 for each performance.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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