The show that I went to on November 17 was 42nd Street which is located at Ford Center for Performing Arts. The show opens with the curtain rising just high enough to reveal the lower limbs of a line of hard-driving tap dancers, their precise steps pounding out a beat that matches the rat-a-tat-tat of our hearts as we thrill to this audacious beginning. Then the curtain rises all the way up and–well, if we’re not transported back to 1933, we are at least on the real 42nd Street, where the Ford Center is prominently located.
As the urtain rises on current touring production of “42nd Street,” it seems to get stuck. It halts about a tenth of the way up, and all we see is a stage full of legs and feet, furiously tapping away. We can see the audition for the upcoming show “Pretty Lady”. Then we see how Peggy Sawyer arrives for her audition an hour late, yet still manages to get a job due to her undeniable talent. The rehearsals start off with difficulties, and the cast isn’t prepared when Dorothy Brock, the lead actress, breaks her ankle. It seems like the show will not go on, unless they find a starlet with natural talent.Order now
And, of course, Peggy Sawyer is exactly who they need. All the character in this musical did unbelievable job in making this show more colorful and sparkling. Julian Marsh (played by Patrick Cassidy) is the director of a soon to be Broadway hit- he just has to bring there. His character in the only one in the show that displays layers and authenticity. I even think that without marsh the show would be devoid of real conflict or consequences. I even felt for a moment that Marsh breathed life and significance into a show. Marsha’s character is coupled with Nadine Isenegger in the role of
Peggy. She is like a quintessential feel-good musical heroine-an unadulterated young girl with talent radiating from every inch. She shows up on Broadway to make her dreams come true. And by the end of the second act she does. In this show I think she represented vital part of making the show fly. She had a very tough role to make herself unbelievably loveable and to help the production to flow well, and that’s what she did. But also the show wouldn’t be as good without Maggie Jones and Bert Berry. They made this show humorous and very relaxing.
Also, Blair Ross always draws laughs with her obnoxious tantrums as the past-her-prime actress, Dorothy Brock. During the show I was amazed how a proscenium was filled from side-to- side with tap shoes in perfect synchronization, sparkling smiles on every faces. I thought that the dance of the show was one of its greatest successes. From the moment the curtain lifts a mere two feet to reveal the ensemble tapping away at an audition, and immediately realized that this show will be a delightful trip back to the days when tap was the craze of the stage.
Even despite physically demanding dance numbers, the cast’s drive to entertain the audience prevails. Also 42nd Street has the charm of classic musical comedy. The melodies are lovely and fun-loving. What also makes the music great are the gentle harmonies that pop up in surprising places. And it amazing how by adding the harmonies in places that you might expect the melody to simply carry through the song, it adds appeal to the music. Music made me feel like I was a part of the show. But there nothing can be that spectacular without lighting.
It is the tandout piece of technological work for the show. It is great how directors designed footlights into the front of their stage and use them to stress certain moments of the show. Footlights are rarely used in current designs, but having them for the show is very appropriate and effective. It helped me to visualize the show more carefully and colorful. 42nd Street is the most realistic of the Depression era Busby Berkeley musicals. Berkeley made amazing musicals that defied gravity, time and space. However, the storyline behind this 1933 classic is based in ough reality.
We see a driven, slightly mad musical comedy director bring to life a peppy stage revue. We see the drive, paranoia, disregard for self- being that drives all directors. We see the exhaustion, hell-on-earth the dancers have to go through in rehearsals. The glamour is hardly there! Set against the Depression, there’s added bite in knowing that everyone on the payroll is working to survive; with these themes bonded together 42nd Street becomes more like a family album of outrageous relatives than an act of fiction.
That’s an unbelievable feeling and experience to see the exact period of time (Depression) and what really was going during it and to learn it in school almost at the same time. This show got everything that I always wanted to see and could ever ask for- human drama, sets both technically and astonishing and pleasing to the eye, explosive musical numbers. The only thing that I saw during the show was a professionalism. And I am so grateful that students have such an opportunity to go and see it. I always wanted to see 42nd Street and my dream came true.