A valued production

Published 11:20 pm Wednesday, June 11, 2014

With high schools that boast award-winning theater programs, Suffolk has come to expect a certain level of excellence when it comes to community theater.

In recent years, however, the bar has been raised even higher, as the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts has hosted community productions of Broadway favorites staged, produced and directed by industry professionals. Because of their level of professionalism, the productions always attract some of the most talented young people in Hampton Roads to participate on stage, and they are among the only opportunities people in Suffolk get to see professional theater productions right here at home.

The musical “42nd Street” revives that tradition at the SCCA this weekend and next. Featuring high-energy tap, graceful ballet, convincing actors and songs that everyone knows, the show is bound to be another crowd-pleaser.

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Renee Perry Mitchell of RPM Dance on Bridge Road brings experience as a Rockette at New York’s famous and iconic Radio City Music Hall to her role as director of the Suffolk production. She also benefits from having worked for “the original front guy” for the Broadway version of the musical.

Musical director Michael Turner found himself pleasantly surprised by the level of professionalism in the 50-person cast, nearly all of whom are teens from Hampton Roads. The Governor’s School for the Arts is always a major contributor of talent for the SCCA shows, and Suffolk normally finds itself well represented when it comes to performers taking the stage.

Folks in Suffolk may not get a better chance this year to see Broadway come alive on a hometown stage. If you’re looking for a great way to spend an evening during the next couple of weekends, you could hardly do better than this.

The show will take place at 8 p.m. on Saturdays, June 14 and 21, and at 3 p.m. Sundays, June 15 and 22. Tickets are $27.50 for adults and $10 for children. Get tickets at www.suffolkcenter.org or by calling 923-2900.