'42nd Street' had strongest sales of any SEMO production since 1974

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The success of "42nd Street" will provide momentum that should carry over to the River Campus' opening in the fall, Dr. Gary Miller, interim director of Southeast Missouri State University's School of Visual and Performing Arts, said Monday, a day after "42nd Street" ended its run at FRose Theatre.

"This was an extremely large musical ... I think that it, in many ways, previews what is going to be able to happen down at the River Campus. There's no doubt about that," Miller said of "42nd Street," a massive collaboration between the university's theater, dance and music disciplines.

During its two-week run all but six tickets were sold for "42nd Street" performances (due to a source error the Southeast Missourian recently reported all but 12 tickets were sold in the show's first week). The sales were the strongest for a university theater production since "Godspell" in 1974, which sold out all of its dates. The show played seven dates in the theater, which seats 496.

Perrey Lee, marketing and box office director for the theater and dance department, said several people had to be turned away at the box office due to sell-outs during the run. On Sunday some people were let in for free, standing-room only.

Some who called for tickets and couldn't get them even became anxious or irate, Lee said.

"People were freaking out," she said.

Both Miller and Lee said response to the production was overwhelmingly positive.

Now theater and dance turns its attention to the River Campus and its first production there, the musical "Big River," based on Mark Twain's novel "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." The musical will run Oct. 24 through 28 and will be the first theater production in the 900-seat performing arts hall at the River Campus.


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