SDSU Musical Theatre presents Steel Pier Opening Dec. 2

December 1, 2021
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In the honky tonk world of marathon dancing in 1933 Atlantic City, a captivating assortment of depression era souls eager to dance their way into fame and prizes gather on the Steel Pier.

Live, Thursday, Dec. 2 through Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021 on the SDSU Main Stage, a cast of 24 takes on Steel Pier. The musical is based on the book written by David Thompson, conceived by Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman, and David Thompson, and with music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb.

In the honky tonk world of marathon dancing in 1933 Atlantic City, a captivating assortment of depression era souls eager to dance their way into fame and prizes gather on the Steel Pier. Contestant Rita Racine deals with her nefarious promoter boyfriend, until a mysterious pilot partners with her in the contest and teaches her to believe in her own dreams. Songs by the creators of Chicago, Cabaret and other Broadway classics perfectly capture the rhythms of the 1930’s dance era.

Director Stephen Brotebeck shares his insight on the show. “We are excited to return to in-person performances with the spectacular musical Steel Pier. It’s the 1933 Atlantic City Dance Marathon, and we have transformed the stage of the Main Stage Theatre into the Marine Ballroom on the world famous Steel Pier,” shares Brotebeck.

“One of Kander and Ebb’s most romantic scores, Steel Pier is a non-stop singing and dancing extravaganza with a talented cast of 24. As an audience member, you will find yourself cheering on your favorite marathon couple while following all the romance and drama that comes with it.”

Melissa Glasgow plays main character Rita Racine in Steel Pier. Glasgow has a passion for theatre, and is excited to take on her very first leading role.

“It’s been valuable to work on a show that is specific to a certain time period because the cast is getting to flex our research muscles. It has been great to practice incorporating what we’ve learned about 1930s dance marathons into our characters’ behavior throughout the show,” shares Glasgow.

Through a team of actors, actresses, designers, coregraphers, and beyond, the musical has been brought to life in our own SDSU Theatre.

Costume designer Regan Mckay shares her favorite part about the show. “My favorite part of working on Steel Pier has been collaborating with the incredible creative team. The large scale of the production has posed many challenges for me as a costume designer and really honed my skills, but it is the grand and magical scale of the show that is just one of the many reasons you should come see it,” shares Mckay.

“Throughout my design process, I was really inspired by the contrast between the glamour of Hollywood in the 1930s period and the gritty reality of the Great Depression, which is a duality Steel Pier explores that I feel is both relevant and captivating to a contemporary audience member.”

Performances of Steel Pier are all at 7:30 p.m. For tickets and details visit the SDSU Theatre website.

About the MFA Musical Theatre Program:

The SDSU Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree in Musical Theatre has helped hundreds of students establish life-long careers as leaders in the world of Musical Theatre. Many of our graduates have gone on to teach in musical theatre programs in schools and universities worldwide, while others have gone on to become professional performers, directors, choreographers, music directors, producers, casting agents, and writers.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.