The second massive New York import in less than a month, 42nd Street brought its lullaby of Broadway to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane last night. In addition to their transatlantic journeys, An American in Paris and 42nd Street are both dance-based shows – with big budgets (£8 million is the word on the latter), huge casts and stunning designs – that have won over critics in dramatic fashion. And yet, they’re very different beasts, as many note this morning.
42nd Street is the mother of all tap musicals and, with a staggering 55-strong ensemble of hoofers, even the most dubious seem to have been pummelled into blissful submission by the sound and the spectacle of this new production, helmed by its co-author Mark Bramble.
42nd Street is billed as an American dream fable of Broadway. When director Julian Marsh (Tom Lister) falls on hard times, he gambles on one last big show, which stars headliner Dorothy Brock (Grammy Award winner Sheena Easton, making her West End debut) and, waiting in the wings, hopeful young chorus girl Peggy Sawyer (Clare Halse). The show’s many hit songs include ‘We’re In The Money’, ‘Lullaby of Broadway’, ‘Shuffle Off To Buffalo’, ‘Dames’, ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’, and ‘42nd Street’. The cast also features Bruce Montague, Norman Bowman, Jasna Ivir and Stuart Neal.
I’ve rounded up key overnight reviews below as well as a smattering (seriously, just a few) of the avalanche of articles about the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) in her red dress on the red carpet and accepting a pair of tap shoes at the curtain call, plus recent interview features and tons of social media buzz which you can peruse via my other site, StageFaves.