Review Roundup: Reagle Music Theatre's 42nd STREET
42nd Street closes out the company's 49th summer season at the Robinson Theatre (617 Lexington St. Waltham, MA, 02452). Tickets can be purchased at www.reaglemusictheatre.comby calling 781-891-5600, or at the theatre box office.
Running from August 3-13 for 8 performances only, the musical comedy 42nd Street is the timeless classic about a bright-eyed chorus girl who gets her big break on Broadway. The ultimate show-biz musical, 42nd Street celebrates Broadway, Times Square, and the people who make the magic of musical theatre.
Director and Choreographer Eileen Grace and Co-Choreographer Susan Chebookjian join to recreate Gower Champion's original choreography for the production. Producing Artistic Director Robert J. Eagle, Musical Director and Conductor Daniel Rodriguez.
42nd Street follows aspiring performer Peggy Sawyer on her journey from rural Allentown PA, to the glitzy stages of New York City's Broadway. With tap shoes in hand and a dream in her heart, Peggy lands a coveted role in the chorus of a new Broadway show. When the star is injured before opening night, will Peggy be able to step in and go from chorus girl to star The score is chock-full of Broadway standards, including "You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me," "Dames," "We're In the Money," "Lullaby of Broadway," "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" and-of course-"Forty-Second Street."
Let's see what the critics have to say!
Dig Boston (Christopher Ehlers): York plays Dorothy Brock, a temperamental past-her-prime diva that is cast in a new, big Broadway musical. The show is called Pretty Lady (and it's being bankrolled by her sugar daddy), and Dorothy Hopes that it will once again propel her to stardom. But on opening night, Dorothy falls and breaks her ankle. Her understudy, Peggy Sawyer, ultimately opens the show in her place and becomes an overnight sensation. 42nd Street, in all its cheesy, flashy glory, is the quintessential showbiz musical. "It reminds me of why I got into the business in the first place," said York. "The glory of Broadway, sweating for your craft, and going through hell for your craft."
Boston Globe (Don Aucoin): York has fun with her imperious character, Dorothy Brock, an over-the-hill prima donna who is headlining "Pretty Lady.' Dorothy breaks her ankle during a performance when Peggy crashes into her after being bumped by another performer, and next thing you know, Peggy is being pushed into the lead role. That, of course, paves the way for Julian to utter those immortal words: "Peggy, you're going out there a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!'
Wicked Local (R. Scott Reedy): As Billy Lawlor, juvenile male lead of the show-within-the show, talented song-and-dance man James Darrah - who played Ambrose Kemper in the 1995 revival of "Hello, Dolly!" directed by Lee Roy Reams, Broadway's first Billy Lawlor - moves so rapidly and taps so furiously that you won't be able to take your eyes off of him.
BroadwayWorld (Nancy Grossman): As good as the character acting is by the likes of Beth Martin Pierce (Maggie Jones), Jack F. Agnew (Abner Dillon), and last-minute put-in (for Allegretto) Paul Reynolds (Pat Denning), 42nd Street is really all about the dancing and a fabulous array of musical numbers by Harry Warren (music) and Al Dubin (lyrics). Many of the roles call for triple threat performers as the cast of characters is made up of people putting on a show. As the woman of the hour who has to save the day, Mara Cecilia (Peggy Sawyer) looks the part of the dreamer following her heart and dances with brio and flair. James Darrah (Billy Lawlor) has an amazing tenor range, but it is a stretch to see him as the so-called "juvenile" actor in the Pretty Lady company. However, his terpsichorean skills merit a "wow" rating and age is merely a number when he struts his stuff with abandon atop a giant coin prop in "We're In The Money." Another senior member of the cast, Charley Borden (Andy Lee) is light on his feet and makes all the combinations look easy when he instructs the kids in the chorus line as Marsh's right hand man.