42nd Street

Songs by Al Dubin & Harry Warren, Book by Michael Stewart & Mark Bramble
Choreography by Randy Skinner (recreating original choreography by Skinner and Gower Champion)
Directed by Mark Bramble

Review by Alan Bird
March 2002

42nd Street is the all time classic Broadway musical based upon the 1933 movie musical of the same name. Set in the time of the great depression it tells the story of Peggy Sawyer a girl from Philadelphia who wants to become �a broad� on Broadway. Her moment arrives when Dorothy Brock, a fading musical star, literally breaks a leg, and so Peggy is given her opportunity to shine, and so a new Broadway star is born.

It is a musical set within a musical. The action takes place backstage where we witness the big-time Broadway director Julian Marsh auditioning girls for his new musical �Pretty Lady�. Here we witness the trials and mishaps of producing a musical, with leading actors throwing tantrums, the main financial backer always on the verge of pulling out, and young girls attracted to the glittering lights of Broadway trying to escape poverty and discover fame.

The musical contains some terrific songs, who has not heard of �Lullaby of Broadway�, �Keep Young and Beautiful� or �I Only Have Eyes For you�, to name but a few. With a cast of 54 and 750 costumes this all-glittering production is a true spectacular of dancing and singing. The final song �42nd Street� is a tap dancing extravaganza of pure Broadway delight.

(Alan Bird)

Originally published on

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