For 40 years, NarrowsCommunity Theater (NCT) has brought the joys and appreciation ofmusical and non-musical theater to Bay Ridge and Brooklynresidents. Since its founding in 1971, the non-profits mission hasbeen to promote community interaction and learning around a sharedlove and production of community dramas, pageants and theatricalplays.
Opening their40th anniversary season is NCTs latest production,42nd Street, which will be hitting the stage fromFriday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15, and then again on Saturday, May21 and Sunday, May 22nd at the Fort Hamilton Army BaseTheater at 101st Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway.
The decision toput on the iconic musical about a young Broadway hopeful who getsher big break amid the countrys struggles during the GreatDepression came from the theaters membership, which, each year,nominates the top three shows theyd like to put on. Then the boardof directors decides if the shows on the list can be done and triesto get the music rights to one.
As to what makethe story of 42nd Street special, NCT PublicityManager Ann Gubiotti describes the appeal as nostalgia with ahuge helping of a lot of energy.
This is somethingthat will appeal to a lot of seniors and families. Its a timelessstory; Im sure theyll remember the old movie, said Gubiotti, whonoted that these two groups comprise most of NCTs loyal fan base.Its a very upbeat show, a very innocent show from years ago. Itsa very heavy dance show, which made it very challenging. [But] italso makes it very exciting.
Could there alsobe a synchronicity with modern viewers also balancing theircheckbooks with their social lives as their counterparts did over70 years ago?
I dont thinkanything in it really reflects on any sadness about not havingmoney; people in the show are happy to have a job, said Gubiotti.One of the numbers is about finding a dime and theres whole bigdance routine. A lot of it is corny, but delightfully so. Itresonates with people who grew up with watching these[stories].
In addition tobeing the non-profits 40th anniversary Spring Show,42nd Street marks the first time NCT will be back atFort Hamilton since the September 11 attacks forced the army baseto limit public access and amp up security.
Giving back to andbeing a part of the community is what NCT thrives on. Local talentfrom age 18 on up can take on big or small roles as they desire. Inaddition, dance, singing and acting workshops are held for childrenand adults, and some original members who are in their early 80snow remain active in productions. Community businesses alsopurchase ads in NCT programs, helping to supplement support fromticket sales and grants.
Weve survivedbecause of our audiences. Were able to provide them qualityentertainment at very affordable prices and they do come back,Gubiotti explained. A lot of the performers and volunteers arefrom this area. Childrens shows have had parents involved.
If youd like tocatch one of this or next weekends performances, email NCT@NCTheaterny.com or call718-482-3173. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, childrenand students under 21. For better seats, Gubiotti suggests comingfor Friday and Saturday shows.
Volunteers arealso always needed for stage crew, costuming and construction, andif you would like to audition or join NCTs crew, visit www.narrowscommunitytheater.com.