PHS 42nd Street

Put on your dancing shoes and get to Portsmouth High School on Nov. 18-20 to enjoy the Portsmouth High School Show Choir in their performance of the musical 42nd Street.

“We’re excited for the show. The music is so good and so much fun. We have a really strong group of dancers and a few of them have tap experience. This is a really tap-heavy show, and I knew I wanted to showcase their ability to tap and to dance in general. There’s acting and there’s singing and dancing. There’s a little bit of everything,” said Vocal Music Director Emily Crandall.

The musical 42nd Street is a 1980 Broadway musical written by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, with music by Al Dubin, Johnny Mercer, and Harry Warren. The story is about a young girl named Peggy who moves from Pennsylvania during the Great Depression to join a cast of Broadway actors rehearsing for a show. The play is based on the 1932 novel by Bradford Ropes which was adapted to screen in 1933 and features music from the film as well as several new songs written by Dubin, Mercer, and Warren. The Broadway stage performance won the Tony Award in 1981 and again in 2001.

High school students audition for the show choir each year to join the school’s competition show choir. In the fall the show choir performs a musical at the high school for the community and then competes in competitive show choir events in the winter and spring. 

Crandall said students have been practicing this performance diligently for weeks.

“It’s kind of fun to start the year and hit the ground running with a show, because it’s a great team-building experience for competitions. You’re around each other a lot, and you get to know each other, and you really get the itch to perform. So when it comes time for competition season, you already have that under your belt, and you’re ready to compete. It’s pretty cool, and I think it’s a good thing for our group to do in the fall.”

The first show will be performed on stage at Portsmouth High School on Friday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m., followed by another show on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee show on Sunday, Nov. 20, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for reserved seating, $10 for general admission, and $5 for students. Tickets are available in the school office now, or they can be purchased at the door the night of the show while they last.

For more information about Portsmouth City Schools, visit them online at, or follow the school’s page on Facebook.

Performance Link: On YouTube