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42nd Street tour-new bios up!

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Natalie 2
Stand-by
joined:11/2/04
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42nd Street tour-new bios up!#0
Posted: 10/10/05 at 3:45pm
BwayTheatre11
Broadway Legend
joined:6/25/03
Broadway Legend
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re: 42nd Street tour-new bios up!#1
Posted: 10/10/05 at 3:47pm
Me too!
CCM '10!
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JulianHookbucks
Broadway Star
joined:5/29/05
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re: 42nd Street tour-new bios up!#2
Posted: 10/10/05 at 4:34pm
!!!! MELODY GOT PEGGY!!! YAY! Oh, I have to see this now. I want to cry... hehe. Yay for the Davi sisters!!
that's a really big mic...
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theonlyone
Understudy
joined:10/4/05
Understudy
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10/4/05
re: 42nd Street tour-new bios up!#3
Posted: 10/10/05 at 5:39pm
YES! I'm seeing this in November for the first time! Way excited now!!!
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BEAU HIGGINS
Chorus Member
joined:3/11/05
Chorus Member
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42ND ST NATIONAL TOUR REVIEW#4
Posted: 10/12/05 at 3:07pm

Broadwayworld.com Review: 42ND STREET-Sizzling-Scintillating-Spectacular

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October 12, 2005 - by Beau Higgins

Were I a religious man, I would consider taking a moment to thank the gods of musical comedy. What the heck! I want you dear reader, to join me in thanking the musical comedy gods for sending us Natalie Buster, Maureen Veronica Illmensee, Melody Davi and Cody Walker. While we’re at it, let’s roll out a lush red carpet for Randi Kaye’s achievement in making the part of Annie in 42nd STREET, sparkle and shine as it never has before.

Sparkle and shine are certainly apt words for this production of the 2001 revival of Gower Champion’s 1980 Broadway classic, 42ND STREET. Thankfully, glitz, glitter and garlands of talent are not truly blinding. As visually assaulting (in the best sense of the word) and bursting with talent as this 42ND STREET is, I do suspect I will regain full use of my eyesight by morning.

This show looks and feels dazzling and darn it, it's good to feel dazzled! A glorious ensemble has been assembled to bring us the fabulous fable of the fired chorus girl who gets to “go on” for the injured star, in the simple backstage story that is 42ND STREET. This revival and its 1980 original are based on the 1933 film of the same name that starred Warner Baxter and Ruby Keeler (at the time, Mrs. Al Jolson--and the future star of the 1970 Broadway revival of the tap dancing extravaganza, No, No, Nannette.) I first saw the musical 6 days after it opened at the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway. The show was quite the media phenomenon upon opening and I just had to be there soon. This was one of only two times in my life that I was in standing room for a Broadway show (the other was the original Broadway production of THE ELEPHANT MAN.) Boy, that was one of the smartest things I ever did. Not only did I get to meet Harold Prince that night (I am not confused, he had nothing to do with 42ND STREET-- he just happened to be


seeing the show that night) but it very much restored my faith in musical theater.

At that time in my life, I never thought another Broadway musical could achieve the theatrical heights created by A CHORUS LINE. I remember thinking that 42ND STREET was the first musical to intoxicate me since the Pulitzer Prize winning A CHORUS LINE. The production tonight of this descendant of the 1980 musical may not have been as intoxicating as that performance some 25 years ago. But, let’s just say, I am glad I did not have to do the driving home tonight.

This 42nd STREET has added some new songs from the trunk of Harry Warren and Al Dubin. The most notable is 'I Only Have Eyes For You.' 'With Plenty of Money and You,' is also a welcome addition to the score. This compliments such classic songs as 'We’re In the Money,' 'Shuffle Off to Buffalo,' the title tune and 'Lullaby of Broadway.' My personal favorites from this score remain the breezy ‘You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me’ and the lovely 'About A Quarter To Nine.'

Roger Kirk’s costumes are gorgeous and flow dreamily through the heaven sent set designs of Douglas W. Schmidt and Rob Bissinger. This provides the playground for the dizzying dance tour de force that is the epicenter of this show. You will not find more extraordinary theater dancing anywhere than was on display at the Kravis Center tonight. The dancers and dancing are about as grand as it gets. Much of Gower Champion’s original brilliance is clearly on display here. His work in 42ND STREET was as astonishing tonight as it was 25 years ago. The 2001 revival credits musical staging and new chorography to Randy Skinner, recreated here by Rick Conant. Whomever the credit goes to, once I saw the recreation of Mr. Champion’s ‘Shadow Waltz,’ I knew we were safely in the hands of inspired talent. The production numbers are simply smashing and I often wished they had smashed us longer.

So 42nd STREET is great, of course it is. Not that theater awards are the do all and end all but it did indeed win the Tony for Best Musical in 1980 (David Merrick said when accepting that year’s Best Musical Tony--”What would the 1980 musical season have been without 42ND STREET?”-- Mr. Merrick was not known for his modesty ) and for Best Revival of a Musical in 2001. Now, back to the current cast members.


Tom Frye is daffy and ‘right on’ as Bert and Ron Smith is fine as Julian Marsh. Hold onto your armrests when Melody Davi comes onstage. This beauty taps like a champion and sings with a brassy and bubbly belt. Her youthful exuberance is highly infectious. She is at once charming and sassy and simply splendid. The part of Maggie Jones doesn’t always attract a lot of attention (although Mary Testa did reap a Tony nomination for the 2001 Broadway revival.) Maureen Veronica Illmensee is wonderful in the role. Her raw talent and sense of joy come through as loud and clear as her exciting singing performances, making this audience favorite’s solo moments all too brief for this listener’s ears.

The gifted and dangerously handsome Cody Walker makes the part of Billy Lawler a star turn. He acts. He charms. He dances, he sings and he commands the stage. Mr. Walker is, at the very least, a triple threat performer, giving an award caliber performance here. Cody Walker is fabulous in 42ND STREET. I suspect this young man will be wowing audiences for many, many years to come.

Natalie Buster, where have you been or where have I been? Do you realize how your performance tonight, highlighted by your enchanting and entrancing singing , enveloped and swept away your audience? This writer has never before seen a Dorothy Brock sumptuously and seductively owning the stage every time she appears. In 2001 Christine Ebersole won the Tony award for playing Dorothy Brock. Suffice is to say, had Natalie Buster, Dorothy Brocked on Broadway in 2001, she would currently be maintaining a bottle of Tony award polish in her residence. Bravo, Ms. Buster!

42ND STREET’s last performance at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach is October 16. Do not miss it.





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Currently spending his time between New York and Florida, Beau was born to a theatrical family in Brooklyn. He studied drama at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute and at HB Studios. He studied theater singing with Julia Sperratore and Helen Gallagher. Beau later taught drama at the Lincoln Center Square for the Arts. It was at this time Beau began working with the Theater Development Fund and helped found New York's famed HALF PRICE TICKET BOOTH. Early in his career, Beau was screen tested and contracted for Warner Brothers. He co-hosted, an early cable variety series on Manhattan's Teleprompter channel. At this time he directed the Johnny Specca musical, SEX IS..? at the Lincoln Center Library Theater. Beau has performed Off-Broadway in FAT FELL DOWN, The Comic Strip Theater's LITTLE LULU AND THE INVISIBLE INK and WILL THE REAL ZOOPERMAN PLEASE STAND UP. Around the country he has delighted audiences with his performances in ANYTHING GOES, THE APPLE TREE, GUYS & DOLLS, and HELLZAPOPPIN! He sang for New York audiences at such cabarets as The Duplex and Upstairs at the Downstairs. He has had numerous television appearances but is most proud to have been a winning contestant on the game shows JACKPOT and THE $20,000 PYRAMID.


Past Columns:

Review: 42ND STREET-Sizzling-Scintillating-Spectacular
Public Theatre of South Florida-2005-6 Subscriptions Still Available!
Ella Passes the Microphone to Judy Garland in Palm Beach
Madame 'Diva of Puppets' at Ft. Lauderdale's Broward Center
Valerie 'Rhoda' Harper as Prime Minister Meir Starts Oct. 18!
Erotic Art 'Turns On' Miami Beach
Photo Flash: Liza Minnelli at Sinatra Theatre October 8, 2005!
Review: Legendary Liza Luminously Launches Lauderdale's Sinatra Theatre
Miami World Theater-Tale of Tekka
GableStage 2005-2006 Season Announced
Hair-Classic Rock Musical at Tamarac Theatre
Blade To The Heat-Play Exploring Homophobia-Miami's Lehman Theater
A Marriage Minuet-Comedy's World Premiere in Manalapan
A Shot In The Dark-Dinner Theater comes to Legendary La Paloma Restaurant
Miami's Cosmic Experience Stage Co. Debuts!
25 Days in Iraq-S. Fla Debut at Jupiter's Atlantic Theater
A Heart Divided-Ft. Lauderdale Children's Theatre
Disney's Aladdin 'Magic Carpets' Miami Children's Theater
The Normal Heart 'Beats' at Public Theater of S. Florida
Pluft, The Little Ghost-Kids' Show Spooks Broward Center
Defending the Caveman Grunts at West Palm's Kravis Center
Breaking Legs in Lake Worth
The King And I at Boca's Willow Theatre
Liza Launches Lauderdale's Sinatra Theater!
Brooklyn Bridge-Miami Beach's Playground Theatre

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JulianHookbucks
Broadway Star
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42ND ST NATIONAL TOUR REVIEW#5
Posted: 10/13/05 at 4:30pm
I saw it with the old cast... with Mara and Kyle, and everyone, and it was AMAZING. I saw that one twice, too! I want to go see this again though, ahh.
that's a really big mic...