Music: Harry Warren
Lyrics: Al Dubin
Director: Mark Bramble
Choreographer: Graeme Henderson
Reviewer: Laura Stimpson
The Public Reviews Rating:
Come and meet those dancing feet – with a bang and a lot of tap, 42nd Street, one of Broadway’s longest running shows, arrived in Bradford tonight. Based on the novel by Bradford Ropes we follow famed Broadway musical director, Julian Marsh (Dave Willetts), as he sets out to stage a grand musical spectacular in the height of the great depression in 1933.
With the backing of millionaire Abner Dillon (Bruce Montague) this grand production can be staged, but only if his ‘has been’ girlfriend, Dorothy Brock (Marti Webb) is cast as the leading lady. Unfortunately (or not!) Brock is later injured in the final stages of rehearsals and the show is over. Or is it? However will they find someone to fill the role with only 36 hours to go?
After a rousing overture the action begins on stage, from the outset the pace of the show is set with a big tap scene. The ‘kids’ are auditioning for a new show to hit Broadway, entitled Pretty Lady. It’s here we’re introduced to our soon to be leading lady Peggy Sawyer (Jessica Punch), an innocent, unconfident young girl from Allentown, Pennsylvania with a dream to perform on Broadway.
This show comes with a stellar cast, Marti Webb plays superstar diva Dorothy Brock and Dave Willets plays renowned director Julian Marsh. Both stars live up to expectation, Webb’s vocals are powerful and stunning, she effortlessly leaps through the octave with such wonderful control. Willets’ voice is truly magnificent with a unique quality. However, the true star of this show is Jessica Punch, she grows throughout the performance, her dancing is exceptional and she plays this innocent rising star with great vigour.
Of course this show is all about the dancing feet, and what dancing feet they are too. The set is remarkably designed to make the most of these equally remarkable dancing feet, with the use of large mirrors, steps and projection. Stand out scenes are The Shadow Song early in the first act which introduces us to diva Dorothy Brock (Marti Webb). This is a beautiful introduction to the character, humorously and ingeniously choreographed to project shadows of the diva and dancers. The scene with most impact is the title number, 42nd street, set on glitzy stairs this scene shows the performers at their best and certainly has the wow factor.
42nd Street is a musical like no other, a great mix of 1930’s jazz, massive feel good chorus numbers, and fantastic performances. Many of the shows songs you will instantly recognise, and the orchestra deliver them solidly throughout the show. The production brings the greatest talents of musical theatre to the forefront to produce a wonderful night of entertainment. You’ll leave the theatre with a song in your heart and a tap in your step. An unforgettable, must see.
Runs until 22nd September 2012
42nd Street – Alhambra Theatre, Bradford,
Tags: 42nd Street, Abner Dillon, Alhambra Theatre, Bradford, Bradford Theatres, Dave Willetts, Graeme Henderson, Harry Warren, Jessica Punch, Julian Marsh, Mark Bramble, Marti Webb, West Yorkshire, yorkshire