Steel Pier was a great performance done by Coastal Carolina University’s Department of Theatre Feb. 21-23 and Feb. 27- Mar. 2 in the Wheelwright auditorium.
This outstanding performance really brings you back to the 1930s, especially with the amazing costumes, designed by Eric Hall. It was an interesting tale about a dancer, Rita Racine, portrayed by Emma VanDeVelde, who wants to win this last marathon and the $2000 prize and, finally, go home.
The cast sounded great. The music was energetic and fun, which was directed by Kevin Stites, who has also conducted for Broadway. A couple of my favorite songs were “Everybody’s Girl”, sang by Shelby Stevens, portrayed by Hannah Coffman and “A Powerful Thing” sang by Mick Hamilton and Mr. Walker, portrayed by Hank Santos and Drake Cunningham.
The choreography was also amazing, which the director, Adam Pelty, was responsible for. He is currently an assistant professor of dance and musical theatre for CCU’s theatre program and has also choreographed for Broadway.
“Being a part of the developmental workshop, and subsequently the original 1997 Broadway cast of Steel Pier, was a very big deal – my biggest break yet,” Pelty said in his director’s notes. “When this show that had been a Tony favorite – nominated for a record of 11 awards – was overshadowed by every other new production of the season, Steel Pier posted a notice and closed two weeks later, becoming one of the biggest flops in Broadway history.”
He’s glad that he had the opportunity to direct this show.
“I am beyond thrilled to have had a second chance at visiting this unique musical play with this team of theatre makers and students. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have had creating it,” Pelty said in his director’s notes.
The CCU’s theatre department is filled with many talented students. If you didn’t see this show, come see the next one and support your peers!