21st – 28th May 2016
Photographs from the show by Alan Martin – see more by clicking here…
NODA – Patricia Connor, Region 6 Representative
The musical 42nd Street is based on the novel by Bradford Ropes and the subsequent 1933 Hollywood film of the same name, the show focuses on the efforts of famed director Julian Marsh and his attempt to mount a successful stage production of “Pretty Lady” a musical extravaganza at the height of the Great Depression. The show has lyrics by Al Dubin, and music by Harry Warren from a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, It was first performed on Broadway in 1980.
The story is the stuff of show business dreams. and is one of its most classic tales, telling the story of Peggy Sawyer, from Allentown, Pennsylvania a talented young chorus girl with stars in her eyes who gets her big break on Broadway when the star of the show falls and brakes her leg.
The success of this show (42nd Street) depends very much on the quality and execution of crowd-pleasing tap numbers, popular musical theatre standards, and show-stopping ensemble production numbers. Directed by Liz Clarke I am very happy to say that this production from BOS Musical Theatre Company did not at all disappoint as we were treated to a mesmerising dance extravaganza from the beginning as the curtain rose until the final bows at the end of the show. The delightful choreography devised by the very talented Mary Forbes was excellently thought out creating great entertainment for the audience. All routines were performed matchlessly by all the cast with a great deal of energy and expertise, they were perfectly in time with each other and everyone must have worked very hard to attain such a high standard. The talented principle cast appeared to work well together with no weak links producing some lovely characterisations with respectable well maintained American accents, clear diction and excellent projection. They all gave very enjoyable strong performances showing off their talents in singing and dancing admirably.
The cast included Ian Lawson as Broadway director Julian Marsh and Heather Lewis as the classic Broadway star and diva Dorothy Brock with Lauren Miller in the central role of the small town girl and future Broadway star Peggy Sawyer. Craig Billington was Billy Lawlor the juvenile lead in “Pretty Lady” with Helen Taylor as Anytime Annie, Peggy’s friend and fellow dancer. Karen Parkinson was back on stage again as writer Maggie Jones and her fellow writer Bert Berry was played by Dom Tolley. Tapping his way through the show was Robbie Dale as Andy Lee the show’s choreographer and Phil Power was Pat Denning, Dorothy Brocks boyfriend and future husband. Dorothy’s Sugar Daddy Abner Dillon was played by Paul Wilkinson while Nick Lloyd was Mac the stage manager and Richard Michell was Oscar the pianist. Playing three of Peggy’s friends and fellow dancers were Wendy Harris as Gladys, Lucie Clarke as Lorraine and Sarah McNally as Phyllis.
The supporting cast and ensemble worked very hard and produced some good characterisations of their own while supporting the principal cast strongly. The Orchestra conducted by Charles Moss played very well and also supported the actors, singers and dancers on stage soundly. The hardworking backstage and technical crew did their jobs efficiently meaning changes were slick between scenes, helping to maintain the energy and pace of the show and along with colourful costumes, hair and makeup, which were spot-on for the era, enhanced and set the mood for the production and resulted in an excellent platform for the cast to work on.
Congratulations to Liz Clarke and everyone involved in this outstanding production. Thank you very much for inviting us we had a great evening.
Champion News – Jenny Robson
HAVING grossed several million dollars worldwide since the original 1933 film was released this lively, feel-good musical has been a favourite with theatre-goers.
It is no surprise, then, when the overture strikes up with We’re in the Money and the curtain raises slowly to reveal tapping feet followed by long legs and smiling faces.
There then followed 16 scenes with sparkling costumes and faultless acting. Lauren Millar shined in the role of Peggy Sawyer – an inexperienced wannabe, fresh out of Allentown, desperate for a shot at fame. She misses her vital audition because of nerves.
However this is Broadway where magical things happen so Peggy will not be disappointed. Julian Marsh (an excellent performance by Ian Lawson) is putting on a show – Pretty Lady – starring Dorothy Brock. Heather Lewis was perfect in the role of the diva who is forced to leave the show when Peggy accidentally knocks her over.
With a compound fracture of her ankle (ouch, I’ve had one of those!) she cannot fulfil her role so will the show have to close? Oh no … spurred on by her fellow cast members – “Hey kid, you’re good!” – Peggy, after having been fired and then rehired, takes the part. And the rest, as they say, is history. Pretty Lady is a hit!
Charles Moss and his superb orchestra did justice to Al Dubin’s delicious lyrics and Harry Warren’s toe-tapping music. It was all complemented by Mary Forbes’ magnificent choreography and the whole cast gave memorable performances, at a cracking pace, under Liz Clarke’s snappy and first-rate direction.
Alan Gosling was responsible for the excellent sound and lighting effects, working in conjunction with Dave Murray of Infinity Technical Services.
Space doesn’t allow me to mention all the cast by name but congratulations to everyone on this brilliant production!
Score: 9.5/10 – Stunning.